Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia) released the following statements in reaction to the mid-year budget briefing by the Governor’s Budget Office.
Sen. Jay Costa: “The Republicans who created the $2 billion-plus deficit need to be accountable and take responsibility for closing this gaping hole. This was all so predictable. Senate Democrats couldn’t have been clearer about the budget gimmicks and short-term fixes that were contained in last year’s Republican budget.
“We said that the budget was badly flawed and that’s why we were so strongly opposed to the spending plan. The Corbett administration and Republicans in the House and Senate need to acknowledge their role in making Pennsylvania’s fiscal house a shambles.
“The mid-year briefing was a sad closing commentary on failed, short-sighted policies. It’s clear that the Corbett administration failed to have a plan on how to manage resources and provide strategic investments to move Pennsylvania forward.”
Sen. Vincent Hughes: “The cause of the problem is simple: Over the past four years Republicans failed to articulate and implement a jobs plan that makes growing our economy a priority. Going from ninth to dead last among all states in job creation in four years demonstrates how little attention has been paid to actual state of Pennsylvania’s economy.
“What is even more frustrating is, despite their lack of vision, creativity and effective policies, the Corbett administration and the Republican-controlled House and Senate still found a way to reward their corporate friends with billions in tax cuts at the expense of education, social safety net programs and the middle class.“Senate Democrats have predicted this result since year one of the Corbett administration. Unfortunately, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate were willing co-conspirators in the pilfering of the commonwealth’s finances. Now we must focus on the arduous task of placing Pennsylvania back on strong financial ground. We look forward to working with Gov.-elect Wolf and the new leadership in the House and Senate Republican caucuses to make sure that happens.”