8 Years of Spending Hikes Crammed into 2?
$2.85 Billion Spending Increase Since 2015 Would Tie Previous 8-Year Total
June 20, 2016, HARRISBURG, Pa.—In the eight years before Gov. Wolf took office, General Fund spending increased by $2.85 billion. Wolf wants to tie or exceed this amount in just two years.
Budget negotiations between the governor and legislative leaders are hovering between $31.5 billion and $32 billion, according to recent news reports (with Gov. Wolf pushing for a budget closer to his original $33 billion proposal). This would mean a minimum $1.5 billion spending hike over this fiscal year—an increase of more than five times the rate of inflation and population growth.
If the Legislature agrees to the higher number and passes a $32 billion budget, this would equal $2.85 billion in spending increases in just two years, equaling the previous eight years combined.
“Cramming eight years of spending increases into two and then handing Pennsylvanians the bill can hardly be called ‘government that works’,” commented Nathan Benefield, vice president of policy for the Commonwealth Foundation. “Before taking even more from families, lawmakers and the governor must prioritize spending, end $700 million in unfair corporate subsidies, and get serious about addressing our staggering pension debt.
“It’s time for government to live within its means instead of forcing tax increases on all Pennsylvanians.”
Nathan Benefield and other Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Gina Diorio at 862-703-6670 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.
# # #
The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.