Harrisburg – June 30, 2015 – Following the passage of the $30.2 billion Republican budget bill (House Bill 1192) today, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) issued the following reaction:

“The Republican budget bill that passed the Senate today is fiscally unbalanced and does not include real dollars for schools, property tax relief for homeowners or a responsible energy extraction tax. The bill was drafted without input from legislative Democrats or the governor and is more of an ideological statement than a real spending plan.

“The spending plan includes only a net $8 million in new dollars for 500 school districts and it lets shale drillers off the hook from paying a reasonable tax that would be used to help fund education. The plan ignores the structural deficit of $1.3 billion and would actually increase the deficit to $3 billion within a couple years.

“Overall, the Republican budget package also includes a flawed pension bill that does not address the $45 billion unfunded liability or save real dollars for taxpayers and a liquor privatization measure that would result in the selling off of a valuable asset for little return.

“Hopefully the governor will not accept any of these measures and force Republicans to bargain in good faith on critical issues such as tax relief for homeowners, bona-fide investments in schools and a shale tax that is sustainable and responsible. The governor, Senate Democrats and others have proposed excellent alternatives that will solve school funding issues and property tax relief all within the context of a balanced budget.”


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