Senator Gordner Urges Governor Wolf to Sign Budget, Pension Reform, Liquor Reform

 (HARRISBURG) – – Senate Majority Whip John R. Gordner (R-27) today urged Governor Tom Wolf to sign a series of bills that will enact a responsible, no tax-increase budget that commits additional funding to education, human services and other important state programs, as well as implementing history making reforms in public pensions and liquor sales.

“The budget is balanced and keeps Pennsylvania in position to continue its economic recovery,” said Senator Gordner. “It is a much better plan than the budget proposed by Governor Wolf, which contained income, sales and energy tax increases of nearly $5 billion that would have negatively impacted all Pennsylvanians.”

“My constituents clearly made it known that they did not want additional income taxes, on top of sales taxes on items such as day care, diapers, home health care, nursing home care and funerals,” added Senator Gordner.  “On June 1, Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives unanimously rejected Governor Wolf’s tax plan.”

The budget addresses the number one cost-driver in state government and school districts by fully funding current pension obligations and reforming the state and school pension plans for future employees, which will reduce future payment obligations.  New school funding will also now be allocated on a fair funding formula recently adopted by the bi-partisan Basic Education Funding Commission. Additionally, the budget contains funding for backlogged school construction projects, further reducing local school budget pressures.

“By fully funding current pension obligations and making the needed reforms in the formula, pension and school construction, the relief to school district taxpayers will be immediate,” said Senator Gordner.  “Coupled with the increases of $100 million for basic education and $20 million for special education, this budget is a big winner for local school districts and should alleviate local property tax increases proposed by the schools.”

The budget also contains revenue from reform of the state’s antiquated liquor system, bringing the Commonwealth in line with 48 other states that sell liquor through private industry rather than an inefficient state-based system.

CONTACT: Todd B. Roup (717)787-8928