Rep. Stephenie Scialabba (R-Butler) issued the following statement regarding Gov. Josh Shapiro’s address on his proposed $48.34 billion budget for the 2024-25 Fiscal Year, an 8.4% increase in state funding from the current fiscal year:
“I was hoping for an appropriate budget proposal that would properly address issues and tackle the current $1.1 billion deficit the Commonwealth is facing. Unfortunately, this does neither and would deplete our reserves and, eventually, our Rainy Day Fund.
“Pennsylvanians would lose more of their hard-earned money to taxation at a time when people are struggling to pay bills.
“When it comes to spending on education, the mindset should focus on school choice and how money is distributed instead of spent. The governor promised on the campaign trail that he would enhance school choice to boost competitiveness with surrounding states, but this proposal would do quite the opposite. He also pitched the idea of a $1 billion increase in Basic Education Funding, but spending more does not fix the root causes of why students are failing to learn properly.
“The current funding system for education was declared unconstitutional, and the Basic Education Funding Commission’s plan – which would require a 46% increase in the state income tax rate to fund –will not help. There are only two results of the proposed unlimited spending – a bankrupt Commonwealth or higher taxes. As we saw with the education proposal, higher taxes seem to be the workaround for the other party. To me, that is not an acceptable solution.
“The Commonwealth is currently losing jobs and population to surrounding states, and Gov. Shapiro called for making the state ‘open for business.’ He promised he would expedite the reduction of the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) rate to create a competitive environment for employers to conduct business, which this plan fails to do.
“Gov. Shapiro will be out of office by the time we see the repercussions and the next governor – and Pennsylvanians – will inherit tax hikes and an empty bank account with an even more elderly and dependent population. It’s a recipe for disaster.
“This budget proposal is a fiscal failure, is unrealistic and spends well beyond our means. This is just the beginning of a long process to craft an agreed-to budget, and I look forward to the work ahead to find ways we can address problems that would not be at a further expense to the taxpayer.”
For more information on the 2024-25 state budget, go to www.pahousegop.com.
Representative Stephenie Scialabba
12th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple