Irresponsible Budget Indicates Incompetent Legislators
By Leo Knepper
The irresponsible budget passed by the General Assembly became law without the Governor’s signature early Tuesday morning (July 12). Because spending exceeds revenue projections, the budget was not balanced. Pennsylvania’s constitution requires a balanced budget. The imbalance was corrected, at taxpayers’ expense, on Wednesday.
On a somewhat positive note, the increased taxes on heating bills was not part of the tax increase. However, there was a lot not to like about the legislation. To satisfy the General Assembly’s insatiable need for spending increases, taxes were raised on tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and digital downloads (music, movies, apps, etc.) among other things. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a full list of the tax increases and sources of additional revenue.
Ed Notes: Of the 31 Republicans in the 50-member Pennsylvania Senate, 17 voted against the tax hikes including Delaware County Republicans Tom McGarrigle (R-26) and Tom Killion (R-9). Andy Dinniman of the 19th District was the only Democrat to vote against the bill. Kudos to them.
Of the 118 Republicans in the 203-member State House, 54 voted for the bill including Delaware County Republicans Bill Adolph (165), Steve Barrar (160), Nick Miccarelli (R-162) and James Santora (R-163). Republican Chris Quinn, who won a special election, July 12, to fill the 168th District seat vacated by Killion for his Senate run, did not vote as he had not yet been sworn in. Of the 84 House Democrats, 11 voted against the bill including, believe it or not, Delaware County Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-161). Mr. Conservative Steve Barrar, mull that one around.