HARRISBURG – Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) and other members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly heard Gov. Tom Wolf’s spending proposals for Fiscal Year 2019-20 during his annual budget address on Tuesday.
The governor’s budget totals $34.1 billion, which is a $927 million increase over the current year. His plan does not include any new taxes on Pennsylvania residents, instead he called for an increase in the minimum wage and a number of fund transfers to support the additional spending. Wolf also wants to impose a severance tax on the natural gas industry, as he has unsuccessfully sought in previous years.
Helm issued the following statement regarding the governor’s budget proposal:
“I thought the governor did an excellent job. He proposed many good initiatives, such as workforce development, which the House Republican Caucus also believes is extremely important for Pennsylvania’s economic future.
“However, I am skeptical about where the money is going to come from to support his new initiatives without any new or increased taxes, as he promised in his address. His spend number seems high, but I’m confident the increase will be under the rate of inflation in the final version.
“He wants to work with us, and we want to work with him. We intend to do just that as we develop a budget that benefits our Commonwealth and helps its citizens.”
To view Helm’s video comments, visit here
The governor’s address is the traditional start of the budget process. The next step is a series of budget hearings by the House Appropriations Committee, which are scheduled to begin on Feb. 11.
Representative Sue Helm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs