HARRISBURG – Rep. Alec Ryncavage (R-Luzerne) issued the following statement on the state budget address Tuesday in which Gov. Josh Shapiro outlined a $48.34 billion spending plan for the 2024-25 fiscal year:
“I appreciate the governor’s enthusiasm to make Pennsylvania more competitive. My concern is how he plans to balance this increased spending without draining the Rainy Day fund or opening up the door to tax increases. Some of the revenue projections he credited are simply unrealistic. Key issues like education and Medicaid funding, along with the proposed higher education funding changes, need close scrutiny. Gov. Shapiro’s proposal to limit the Legislature’s input from a two-thirds vote to a simple majority vote, when putting tax dollars into for-profit colleges and universities, lacks transparency and accountability.
What was not addressed was the Governor’s plan or ability to cut through the partisan gridlock being played in the House and get the House back to work. Remember, the Republicans do not control the calendar.
This address marks the beginning of the budget process. We are 37 days into the year, and this was the House of Representative’s first Session day of 2024. As a full-time legislature there still hasn’t been any voting sessions and no legislation has been debated. We dealt with partisan gridlock last year and “mostly finished” the 2023 budget this past December – six months late.
Under a Republican majority in prior sessions, during the months of January and February, the House had 10 voting session days in 2021 and nine voting session days in 2022. Under a Democrat majority, there were only two voting session days in January and February of 2023 and now none this year.
I fear that another delayed budget could be on the horizon.”