HARRISBURG – Today, Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled his budget priorities for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. Rep. Jamie Barton (R-Berks/Schuylkill) issued the following statement in response:
“Gov. Shapiro delivered his 2024 budget address with grace and eloquence. His ‘Obama-esque’ presentation was fluid, well-rehearsed and nearly flawless! He’s very good at this part of the job. He’s also very good at spending taxpayers’ money, which, quite frankly, did not sit well with me at all.
“Reflecting on Gov. Shapiro as a businessperson, I will tell you that he’s an incredibly well-seasoned salesperson with a lousy product! The governor seemed to take a page out of Oprah Winfrey’s playbook, offering free stuff to everyone who will listen. This isn’t governing.
“The budget proposal product is just south of $50 billion, an increase of 8.4% over last year’s budget. You may ask yourself ‘just how does he plan to pay for all this spending?’ That’s a good question! Unfortunately, Gov. Shapiro didn’t offer solutions in his spending plan, except for legalizing and taxing marijuana, taxing skill games and reducing our prison population by putting drug dealers on the street and expunging their records. At best, these solutions aren’t sustainable. At worst, they’re dangerous.
“Gov. Shapiro often talks about how competitive he is. He did not disappoint today, referring to Ohio kicking our butt in many areas. I’m competitive, too, Governor Shapiro. Let me tell you why Ohio is thumping Pennsylvania. For starters, they have a Republican governor and a Republican Legislature who are business-friendly! Likewise, they have a 0% Corporate Net Income Tax, compared to our 8.49% here in PA. That’s fifth-worst in the United States! Ohio’s low taxes bring industry growth and high-paying jobs to their state. Ohio hasn’t joined the Regional Green Gas Initiative (RGGI), or any other cap and invest program, because they embrace their robust energy industry.
“I am of firm belief that in our homes, in our businesses and in our Commonwealth, we can’t just fix problems by spending more money. It takes hard work, research and collaboration to fix problems. I can assure you that my House Republican colleagues and I are prepared to do the hard work necessary to fix these problems instead of simply spending taxpayers’ money.
The governor’s budget proposal is the first step in Pennsylvania’s budget process. Several budget hearings will occur over the coming weeks. The deadline to finalize the budget is June 30.
Rep. Jamie Barton
124th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives