Simmons Says “No” To Unbalanced Budget, Borrowing to Pay for Current Expenditures
7/5/2017
HARRISBURG – Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) last week voted “no” to the spending portion of the 2017-18 state budget package because it most likely will require the borrowing of up to $2 billion to match revenue with expenses. Simmons also stated that he will vote against the revenue portion of the budget should it include this borrowing.

“Families work hard to not spend more than they earn, and we must do the same in Harrisburg to be fiscally responsible,” Simmons said. “While there are good things I do support in the overall budget package, the idea of supporting an unbalanced budget that borrows against tomorrow to spend on today’s bills is unfair to taxpayers and future generations.

“I was happy to support a fiscally responsible budget in April that increased funding for schools and other vital services. I was also happy that the House voted for legislation that would provide the revenue to pay for that budget without borrowing,” Simmons continued. “Unfortunately, the budget that came back to the House from the Senate contained more spending than the state can currently afford, and that is why I had to vote no.”

Simmons said that his vote continues a pattern of fiscal responsibility that his constituents have asked him to follow.

“The people of the 131st District have made it clear to me that they cannot afford higher broad-based taxes, and they are tired of the fiscal games in Harrisburg. That’s why I was happy to support public pension reform that puts us on a path to future solvency and helps property taxpayers. It is why I stood strong against proposals to raise the income and sales taxes by billions of dollars. And, it is why I am voting against an unbalanced budget this year,” Simmons stated.

Pennsylvania’s budget saw massive spending increases during the Rendell administration, rising 40 percent in just eight years (from $20 billion to $28 billion), along with significant increases in state debt.

“While I applaud the Legislature for avoiding broad-based tax increases this year, the fact is we needed to tighten our belts even more. Our state – and our families – face too many challenges to push this off to the future,” Simmons concluded.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
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