Senator Bob Mensch Reacts to Governor Wolf’s Budget Address

 

Harrisburg –  Senator Bob Mensch (R-24), along with his Senate colleagues, was encouraged to see a budget proposal from Governor Wolf that does not include any broad-based tax increases.

Senate Republicans fought non-stop for more than two years to prevent two of the largest tax increases in Pennsylvania’s history.  “We are thankful that we don’t have to take up that fight again this year,” said Mensch.

Senator Mensch also indicated that he welcomes the Governor’s intention of saving taxpayer dollars.  The Governor proposed a number of measures to consolidate government services and agencies in order to save money.  “The responsible consolidation of government services is something that I have been fighting for over the past 10 years,” said Mensch.

Senator Mensch cautioned that it is important to save funds without sacrificing the integrity of the services and programs that the state provides.  “During the budget hearings, we will dissect the Governor’s proposal and found out how much money his proposals will save. We have some concerns that his plan will reduce the amount of resources devoted to our most vulnerable citizens including older Pennsylvanians, low-income working families, and many more.  This is why we will closely examine the Governor’s proposal to ensure that we provide a budget that meets the core responsibilities of government at the lowest possible cost. It’s what our taxpayers have consistently asked for and it is what they deserve.”

Senator Mensch emphasized that cost saving measures should be based on performance and good public policy rather than politics.  The Wolf Administration has recently targeted potential budget cuts based on party, such as the closure of   two residential mental health facilities that were located in communities represented by Republicans.    The Governor also closed three unemployment compensation call centers that were in Republican represented areas despite the call centers being the most efficient in the state.  The Wolf Administration’s actions did not include a plan on addressing the aftereffect.  As a result, Pennsylvanians are having serious issues filing unemployment claims, receiving payments, and are facing long wait times with the Unemployment Compensation system.

“We saw the consequences of consolidation without proper preparation during the fiasco pertaining to our unemployment call centers,” said Mensch.  “We cannot allow the Wolf Administration to make those mistakes on a broader scale.”

The Republican Caucus members continue to advocate for common sense approach of charting a clear and predictable course that focuses on fiscal restraint, core priorities, and the sustainability of those financial and budgetary decisions in the future is the best course of action.

Senator Mensch and the Senate Appropriations Committee have scheduled three weeks of public hearings on the proposed budget, beginning February 21.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to provide a balanced and sensible budget for Pennsylvanians,” said Mensch.


For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit
www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/senatormensch, or Twitter @SenatorMensch

CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen srasmussen@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388