Monday, July 12, 2010

Lawmakers Grumble Over Budget

A majority of Senators and Representatives voted for this year’s state budget, but many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle aren’t happy with the spending plan.
Berks County Republican Sam Rohrer, who ran for governor in this year’s GOP primary, says he's worried the spending plan is paving the way for a multi-billion dollar deficit next year.
Rohrer says the spending plan over-inflates the new fiscal year’s expected revenue, and underestimates General Fund expenditures.
He says that will create a deficit of at least 800 million dollars, and that’s before expiring stimulus dollars and pension payments are added in.

"And for the governor and other leaders to come back and say by surprise, ‘we just didn’t know that the revenues would come in where they were going to come in,’ is a demonstration of complete ignorance, or even worse, a purposeful distortion of the numbers."

Meantime, many liberal lawmakers are angry the budget didn’t include taxes on smokeless tobacco and cigars.
Allegheny County Democrat Dan Frankel says it’s “not credible” for lawmakers to walk away from that revenue, while voting to cut funding for most state departments.

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