June 28 – The clock is ticking to the June 30 deadline for legislators to have an agreed-upon budget for the state of Pennsylvania, but there are a whole lot of sticking points.
The initial plan included $44.4 billion in spending.
Governor Shapiro added $1 billion in new education spending as well as investing in public defenders.
State Senator Doug Mastriano predicted, “I don’t think it’s going to be done on time. We’ll see, but we’re not in a good position. The governor came in with a record $45 billion request and a Democrat mandate in the House with one seat, increased it by $2 billion with a B. My fear is that that’s their negotiation plan. You know, the House is too much and governor, they’re going to settle upon something that we can’t sustain.”
Where is that extra $2 billion from the House going?
Mastriano said, “It’s just more giveaways. It’s more for their social planning. It’s more for education. We’re already the eighth most expensive in the nation according to the National Education Association, but 32 in ranking. Last time I gave you figures like that, we were 12th most expensive but 28th in output. So we’re spending more and are coming out not better off. There’ll be an expectation next year that we do more than the $45 or $47 million dollars. It’s always going up. There’s never any cuts. No taxes go away. We’re still paying the Johnstown Flood tax from the 30s. Are you kidding me?”