Senate Passes Taxpayer Fairness Act to Control State Spending

(HARRISBURG) – – The Senate of Pennsylvania has taken the first steps towards fiscal responsibility by passing two measures that will limit the growth of state spending and return state surpluses to the taxpayers, according to State Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27), a co-sponsor of the bills.

Senate Bill 4, the Taxpayer Fairness Act, and Senate Bill 884, a companion constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly passed the Senate today and were sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“The Taxpayer Fairness Act will ensure Pennsylvania lives within its means by limiting the growth in state spending,” said Sen. Gordner. “The Act also requires that in years that revenue exceeds spending, half of the surplus is designated for the state’s Rainy Day Fund while half will be returned to the taxpayers,” added the Senator.

There are common sense exceptions to the spending limits to deal with declared disasters or emergencies.  In other cases when the Governor requests spending above the limits imposed by the Taxpayer Fairness Act, a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly would be required to increase spending.

If the House approves the legislation and the bills are signed by the Governor, Pennsylvania will join 30 other states that impose similar budgetary controls.