Plan calls for $2 billion in cuts, additional investment in education

Harrisburg – February 7, 2017 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) released the following statement concerning Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18:

“The proposed $32.3 billion General Fund budget cuts more than $2 billion in expenses, calls for spending slightly more than 1 percent over last year and deals with a looming $3 billion deficit without a broad-based income tax hike.

“The governor has outlined a spending plan that cuts billions in expenses, increases spending slightly and leans heavily on agency efficiencies and consolidations of state agencies. Facing a $3 billion budget deficit if no actions were taken, the governor decided to go in a new direction. It is a new approach and reinvention of how we view government.

“The proposed budget makes investments in education, job creation and opioid treatment while maintaining social service programs to help our most vulnerable. As a blueprint and a starting point, the proposed plan touches all the bases and checks all the boxes.

“Job creation, health care, property tax relief and education are priorities. It will be critical that we identify how the proposed spending plan deals with these issues during the three weeks of upcoming budget hearings before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“As a member of the committee, I will review this plan carefully to ensure that the needs of my district are addressed.”