HARRISBURG – Sen. Chris Gebhard (R-48) released the following statement in response to the budget address that Gov. Josh Shapiro delivered today to a joint session of the General Assembly:
“It’s common knowledge that Pennsylvania is not as business friendly as states we compete with on the national stage. Our unpredictable permitting process and unattractive tax structure deter employers from locating and expanding in the commonwealth. As a result, Pennsylvanians miss out on family-sustaining jobs, and the commonwealth misses out on that additional revenue generated by those employers and employees.
“While I am appreciative of the governor’s call to speed up the Corporate Net Income tax reduction plan, I am disappointed Gov. Shapiro has not yet reversed the plan for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which will be a step in the right direction to improve our business climate and lower energy costs for our citizens. In addition to preventing energy sector job growth, this carbon tax, which is being held over from the Wolf administration, will cost our citizens more than $660 million.
“Especially considering the record high inflation and difficult financial struggles faced by so many Pennsylvania families as the cost of food and gas skyrocket, we must exercise some fiscal restraint. We can’t keep spending tax dollars at the same rate knowing revenue shortcomings are on the horizon. Today’s announced spending plan would eliminate our Rainy Day reserves by the end of his first term in office.
“Education funding, particularly for the state’s poorest school districts, is also important, so I appreciate the governor highlighting this priority. Pennsylvania’s children deserve to have access to a quality education, no matter where they live. A strong education will give them the foundation needed to secure their own good-paying jobs down the road – a benefit to themselves and the commonwealth.
“Secure elections would be another benefit to the state. Pennsylvanians deserve to have faith in our voting process, so I hope Gov. Shapiro is prepared to support commonsense voter identification requirements. Voter ID has broad support from both Republicans and Democrats with the majority of the state’s residents favoring it; there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to enact a voter ID law.”
CONTACT: Matthew Urban, 717-787-5708