– Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) attended a joint session of the General Assembly during which Gov. Josh Shapiro presented his state budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Heffley issued the following statement in response to the governor’s $45.8 billion spending plan:
"I am concerned with the new spending that Gov. Shapiro is proposing. For the last few years, Republicans have been responsible financial stewards, holding the line on taxes while growing the economy to increase state revenue. While I agree on some increases to critical budget priorities, we must be responsible to Pennsylvanian taxpayers. I was happy to hear the governor mention expansion of the property tax rebate program and hope he will go further to provide permanent Property tax relief to all homeowners.
"While I was happy to hear the governor talk about supporting small businesses, I was concerned to hear of his proposal to hire additional auditors to create bureaucratic red tape for small business owners. Pennsylvania is losing business expansion and job growth opportunities to other states, often because of bureaucratic roadblocks. We need to develop policies to assist not harass hardworking Pennsylvanians.
“The governor’s budget address failed to mention his stance on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which will be a $2 billion energy tax on seniors and working families already struggling with inflation. He once again reiterated his refusal to pass meaningful election reforms, like Voter ID, to protect the integrity of our elections. He also mentioned a wish list of progressive big government initiatives that will only cost taxpayers and erode our communities.
"That being said, this is the beginning of the budget process I look forward to getting to work with my colleagues across the aisle to find common ground and commonsense solutions, to ensure those that truly need assistance receive it and all able-bodied Pennsylvanians have access to quality employment opportunities."
The governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings starting Monday, March 20, to examine the details of the governor’s plan and how state departments and agencies are spending their funding. The deadline to adopt a budget is June 30.
To view or download a broadcast-quality video of Heffley’s comments, click the video below.