State Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-120): “The most serious defect in this budget for me is the 9 percent cut to (DEP) at a time we need all hands on deck to deal with our environmental challenges. Since the votes were not there for that revenue increase, we were forced into making these painful cuts.”
NEPAartisan: The DEP is going to see its funding cut by 9%. That’s at a time when Marcellus Shale drilling is rapidly poisoning and destroying our environment. I’m sure Drillers are loving this particular “cost-saving” measure. See, “cost-saving” is another amorphous word (as per yesterday’s essay) as this will only incur epic costs in the long run. Without DEP inspectors going to drill rigs, we may not find out about spills and environmental harm. As a matter of fact, even at the funding levels we have now, we’re missing spills and environmental harm. Now it’ll be easier for drillers to abuse Pennsylvania’s land in their unmitigated pursuit of profit. Thanks, Legislature, for helping them on their way.
McGruff: The budget doesn't eliminate the per diem abuse by our legislators. Send em packin.
State Senate candidate Frank Scavo (PA-22): "With the $28 billion dollar Pennsylvania State budget for 2010 now headed Governor Rendell's desk for signing, Pennsylvania once again approves the practice of deficit spending and driving up state debt. The continued ignorance of the $4 billion dollar pension crisis and it's deliberate absence is both a travesty and an expensive broken promise that will cause punishing property tax rates for working families and seniors. It also leaves teachers and state workers with an unfunded pension liability again. We are continuing to amass debt just like the federal government and ignore critical reforms of the pension, unemployment and prison systems. This new budget also keeps Pennsylvania with the highest corporate tax rates in the nation, which creates no opportunity for job growth again. "
State Rep candidate Tarah Toohill (PA-116th): "It is irresponsible for our legislature to count on a new tax in order to pass the budget. We need to stimulate the economy and create
jobs. Passing a budget based upon the severance tax means the state will spend the money before it even hits the bank, the same as it did
when it approved slots, casinos and table games.
"The Hazleton area has not seen property tax relief from table games and there are no guarantees that the Hazleton area would see any
benefit from the severance tax. This tax will be directed to bailout bankrupt state programs and pay down years of overspending, leaving
empty handed the municipalities and townships whose roads, creeks and ways of life are being altered by the drilling boom.
"This tax and spend mentality signifies how Representative Eachus and Governor Rendell have misguided the state of Pennsylvania into debt
and economic downturn. Forcing our state budget to rely upon a tax that is not yet in existence is the equivalent of putting the
2010-2011 budget on a credit card -- it only perpetuates the problem and leaves an unsavory legacy of debt and decaying infrastructure for
our children, grandchildren and generations beyond.
"No matter whether you are opposed to the developing Marcellus Shale industry or in support of it, passing a budget based upon a new tax is
an unwise double-edged sword. With a tax, the state immediately becomes beholden to the drilling industry and could lead to the
sacrifice of regulation and environmental protection. With a tax, the industry might be less inclined to do business in our state and could
eventually take money out of the consumer's and taxpayer's pocket.
"This new tax proposal is another example of legislators seeing dollars and spending dollars in the blink of an eye, before the
taxpayers ever see them.
"Our people demand real leadership not quick fixes that tack momentary budget solutions to lady luck or the end of a
natural gas pipeline. Our people deserve better."
State Rep candidate Bill Goldsworthy (PA-120): – “It’s time for Democrats in Harrisburg, like Gov. Ed Rendell and Rep. Phyllis Mundy, to face the fact that Pennsylvania can no longer afford their out-of-control government spending sprees,” Goldsworthy said. “At a time when countless Pennsylvania families are struggling to make ends meet, Rendell and Mundy think that we need to spend more, increase government and raise taxes.”
“We need to lower taxes, cut spending and reduce borrowing,” Goldsworthy said. “We need fiscal responsibility in Harrisburg. We cannot afford to wait any longer.
“People all across Pennsylvania are being forced to live within their means. It’s time the state government did the same,” Goldsworthy said.
Goldsworthy said the Democrats’ “tax-and-spend culture” has failed the state and is the cause of Pennsylvania’s high unemployment rate.
He said he is prepared to brubg the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility to Harrisburg and to help the voters take back Pennsylvania.
“The constituents of the 120th District deserve better,” he said.