Feb. 05, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal:

“I think its good start with some common ground, but the governor’s budget proposal is only the beginning of the process. In the weeks and months ahead, the House and Senate will review the governor’s proposal and make improvements where necessary to deliver a balanced budget that benefits all Pennsylvania residents.”

“I appreciated the governor’s focus on early childhood education, agriculture, reduced regulations related to business and workforce development. These are universal issues that we must address in a bipartisan manner. In education, I am pleased that the governor has joined our caucus in understanding the need to focus on family-sustaining jobs and job training. The criminal justice reform measures in place will help to give those who served jail time a chance to be an important part of society. Also, it is important that we recognize that agriculture is the largest industry in our state. The focus in this budget proposal on agriculture should be beneficial in strengthening this important industry and helping hard-working farm families.”

“While I was happy to hear the positive tone toward business growth, the governor’s proposal to increase the minimum wage is a cause for concern. To raise the minimum wage in such a drastic fashion will result in a loss of jobs especially within our small businesses. Minimum wage jobs are a starting point. It is geared to begin an employee’s climb up the economic ladder to finding financial security and independence. The governor feels we can raise significant revenue by increasing the minimum wage. I disagree with that assessment. It is important that we are realistic about revenue growth and don’t overestimate revenues to balance budgets.”

“In addition, for the fifth-straight year, the governor is calling for a severance tax. I remain steadfastly opposed to an additional tax on the natural gas industry. The benefits of clean, low-cost natural gas, family-sustaining jobs, along with the investments being made in communities across this Commonwealth, should be celebrated instead of met with new impediments.”

“Wolf said during his address that he will not raise taxes or increase existing taxes. However, he plans to increase spending by $1.4 billion over last year, approximately a 5 percent increase. We need to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ dollars, while still providing the services and opportunities the residents of our state need to live productive, successful lives.”

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to a deeper examination of the details of his proposal and developing a budget that actually works for the people of Pennsylvania.”

For more information on Wolf’s 2019-20 proposal, visit pahousegop.com.

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)
RepStruzzi.com / Facebook.com/RepStruzzi