Feb. 06, 2024

HARRISBURG – Rep. Jill Cooper (R-Westmoreland) issued the below statement following Tuesday’s budget address:

“Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget is pitched to look as though we are solving real problems. But the reality is his proposal creates more problems than it solves. At an 8.4 % increase in state spending, the bottom-line is the families and businesses who fund Pennsylvania’s government simply cannot afford this.

“His new spending will ultimately deplete the state’s surplus and Rainy Day Fund, but when that account is empty in less than three years, we will be facing a fiscal calamity that can only be solved with a tax increase.

“During the last decade, the General Assembly strengthened those reserves, with the intent of making certain Pennsylvania is covered in the most difficult emergencies. But it was never intended to be the governor’s petty cash fund from which he can write check after check.

“I can get behind some of Gov. Shapiro’s priorities, such as investments in public safety, economic development in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, and a strong education system. But the General Assembly and the administration need to begin their work.

“Last year, the budget was nearly six months late. I’m all about fighting through the issues and only voting in favor of a fiscally responsible budget that spends within its means and doesn’t raise taxes, but that fight has to begin now. This is why I introduced my ‘No Budget, No Pay’ legislation, which would withhold pay from Harrisburg’s elected officials when the budget is late. It is time lawmakers are held to a higher standard.”

Representative Jill Cooper
55th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives