HARRISBURG – Today, Gov. Josh Shapiro delivered his budget proposal in his annual address to the General Assembly. Rep. Joe Hamm (R- Lycoming/Sullivan) shared his concerns and issued the following statement.
“As a fiscal conservative, I believe Pennsylvanians should keep more of their hard-earned money. Pennsylvanians are hurting at the grocery store, at the gas pump and from paying high electric bills. Inflation is causing small business owners to make tough decisions and tighten their belts – state government must do the same and be more responsible with taxpayer dollars,” said Hamm.
“Shapiro’s $45.8 billion plan increases spending from the present year by nearly 6%. This is deficit spending that will deplete the Commonwealth’s reserves in three years and drain the Rainy Day Fund in five. This is unrealistic and unsustainable,” Hamm added. “I am still advocating fiercely for the passage of the Taxpayer Protection Act. We need guardrails on spending so we stop taxing people out of their homes and out of Pennsylvania. Rest assured that I will never support a budget plan that increases taxes and frivolous spending,” Hamm added.
Hamm pointed out that the state Independent Fiscal Office forecasts Pennsylvania budget deficits in the near-term: a $1.67 billion shortfall in 2023-24; $2.4 billion in 2024-25, and more than $3 billion per year after that. Those numbers could drastically increase if the economy enters into a lengthy recession as many economists predict.
The governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings to examine the details of the governor’s plan and how state departments and agencies are spending their funding. The state budget must be in place before July 1.
Representative Joe Hamm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Katelin Morrison