House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) and Appropriations Committee Democratic Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) issued these statements on the Governor’s Office mid-year budget briefing Wednesday--
Rep. Dermody, "The last four years have been a financial disaster for Pennsylvania. On its way out the door, the Corbett administration finally owned up to the structural deficit they created. The new governor will have to make up more than $2 billion just to balance next year's budget and keep the lights on. That doesn't begin to include the additional revenue that’s needed to begin restoring education funding and repairing the harm Governor Corbett's other polices did to the people of Pennsylvania.
"House Democrats warned that the current budget, which relied on roughly $2 billion of unsustainable sources and accounting gimmicks, was shortsighted and masked the state’s serious fiscal problem. As the three major credit rating agencies pointed out when they downgraded Pennsylvania's bond rating, this kind of budgeting creates serious structural problems. That's why not a single Democrat voted for this budget."
Rep. Markosek, "On top of his budget gimmicks, Gov. Corbett exacerbated the budget problem by reducing business taxes by $2.1 billion over the past four years. Now, in the upcoming budget, those business tax breaks will cost the state another $1 billion in lost revenue. Not only were these business tax breaks unaffordable, they were also ineffective. Compared to other states, Pennsylvania continues to linger near the bottom in job growth."Pennsylvanians can't afford any more budgets built on failed ideology, one-time transfers and short-sighted gimmicks. We have tried the bare bones, cuts-only approach prescribed by Gov. Corbett over the past four years and have little to show for it. House Democrats look forward to working with Governor-elect Wolf and the new Republican leadership to find responsible, long-term solutions to right the ship and solve Pennsylvania's budget problems."