Cutler Says Budget Gets PA ‘Back on Right Track’
6/29/2011

Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) released the following statement regarding his support of Pennsylvania’s $27.15 billion spending plan, which was sent to the governor’s desk today:   

“It is very rare that state spending is reduced from the prior year, but we were able to pass a budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that is more than $1 billion less than the current budget.  It was necessary to reduce spending because for too long Pennsylvania spending increases exceeded the rate of inflation.  This led to our current situation in which our liabilities and expenditures are far greater than our income and will be for the foreseeable future.  The old way of budgeting was unsustainable, but this budget gets Pennsylvania back on the right track. 

“I am pleased we were able to achieve some cost savings in the welfare budget.  Welfare represents the largest area of state spending, and we must find a way to manage growth in these programs.  By including many of the proposed welfare reforms advanced by my colleagues, we were able to reduce the governor’s proposed welfare budget by more than $400 million this year.  These savings allowed us to restore some of the proposed funding for public education.    

“School districts will receive historically high levels of state funding from the Basic Education Subsidy in this budget.  I recognize this does not fully restore the allocations they received with federal stimulus money, but we cannot sustain spending at that level with money we do not have.  We are committed to adequately funding public education, and K-12 education will receive 34 percent of the total state budget funding.  I believe we should invest in future of our children with savings from the improvements made to our welfare system.  

“This budget will put away in reserve the additional revenue collections from the 2010-11 budget.  I have heard this money erroneously referred to as a surplus, but that is an incorrect term.  Pennsylvania has more than $50 billion in existing liabilities, including nearly $13 billion in outstanding debt, nearly $30 billion in underfunded public pensions and $4 billion we owe to the federal government for sustaining the Commonwealth’s unemployment compensation fund.  Spending this money would be like receiving a small inheritance and using that money for a shopping spree when the mortgage is in default.  The raiding of the Rainy Day Fund and other reserve accounts, combined with overspending, got us into this predicament.  It is time to resolve our current budget issues by looking to the future and paying down our debt.  Spending this money without considering the tab for next year would be shortsighted and could worsen the budget problems we may face down the road.” 

More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at RepCutler.com or Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler

State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063           
Twitter.com/RepBryanCutler

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