HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The state budget is due at the end of June and Pennsylvania is holding a record amount of money. Now comes the difficult decision of how much to spend and where to spend it.
Governor Tom Wolf is pushing legislation to send $2,000 to every Pennsylvanian who makes less than $80,000 annually.
“People are paying more for gasoline and more for some of the most basic goods. Whatever we can do to make life easier for working Pennsylvanians we should all about doing, and we have the money to do it,” said House Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford (D).
Pennsylvania public schools have received more funding every year under Wolf, and he plans to make it a lot more for his final budget.
“This is an opportunity not just to make up for past cuts, but to make sure we make the future investments we need for Pennsylvania students,” Bradford added.
Spending a lot of money and creating an appropriate budget may sound easy with a seemingly endless amount of funding, but House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor says, “Wrong. When you have a lot of money everybody wants to spend money, you have all this money, how about spending a couple hundred million here and a couple hundred million there quickly adds up that all the money’s gone.”
Some say that House Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor (R) will push for prudence despite the state coffers including $2.2 billion in federal stimulus, the rainy day fund sitting at $3 billion, and state collections being $5 billion over projections.
Saylor and Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R) were both defeated in the Republican primary election after being accused of excess spending and not being conservative enough. Saylor and Browne will finish this budget but have concerns about future budgets.
“If you’re a ‘no, no, no,’ you will be worthless here at the capitol because that’s not the way it works in politics,” said Saylor.
However, Saylor himself promises to say “no, no, no” to overspending in a year with an influx of cash.
The state budget is due on June 30, exactly four weeks from today.