– In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to increase state spending by $6.2 billion, Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Altoona) issued the following statement:
“The governor has somehow even outdone himself today when he proposed one of the highest spending increases in recent years. Using unrealistic revenue numbers, which are $5 billion higher than the Independent Fiscal Office’s expectations, the governor is proposing to increase spending by nearly 17%.
“During his address, the governor fictitiously claimed responsibility for a budget surplus achieved through no tax increases. Let’s be perfectly clear. If we had followed Wolf’s previous spending plans, taxes would have gone up dramatically, just as he had proposed. Fortunately, House Republicans stood firmly against his tax increases and we will again stand against Wolf’s exorbitant spending hike.
“The governor’s latest spending plan would have a lasting negative impact on all Pennsylvanians. We all know it is extremely difficult to roll back any spending increases, let alone a 16.6% hike, once it is put in place. If the governor were to somehow succeed with his spending plan, it would set Pennsylvania on a course of drastic tax increases for years after Wolf leaves office.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to diving deeper into the state’s true finances during the upcoming budget hearings and creating a realistic budget.”