Contact Information 

District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776

E-Mail:  
smentzer@pahousegop.com

Gov. Wolf’s Agriculture Cuts Damage Lancaster County
2/5/2016
Gov. Tom Wolf signed the 2015-16 state budget on Dec. 29th, a balanced $30.3 billion, 12-month spending plan sent to him via a bipartisan Senate vote. This budget increased spending by more than $1 billion over the previous fiscal year’s budget, fully funding the state’s agriculture programs and making historical increases in funding for preK-12 schools by $405 million.

When Wolf signed the budget he used his constitutional authority as governor to line-item veto $6.3 billion in funds, including nearly every agriculture program and the cash prizes for contest winners at Pennsylvania’s 100th Farm Show. As was recently reported by the LNP, these prizes often go to children who compete in contests for sewing, growing produce, raising livestock and square dancing.

The governor also vetoed funding for prevention and response to a potential avian flu outbreak. The Lancaster County House Republican Delegation has been warning farmers and the public since early last year, that the avian flu could reach us this fall and winter as geese with the diseases migrate south over our state and country. Now, the highly pathogenic H7N8 Avian Influenza has hit a commercial turkey flock in Indiana. While the outbreak in Indiana may seem far off, it is proof that this disease can land anywhere and have a devastating impact.

Lancaster County is home to 30 percent of the state’s chicken flocks, has the most laying hens of any county in the United States and feeds 9 million people a year with eggs produced from our farms. Without state funding to respond or prepare for a possible outbreak, there could be significant economic impacts to Lancaster County, if the disease spreads here. It would also impact Lititz, which serves as the company headquarters of Sauder’s Eggs.

There is no justification for this level of cuts to programs that support Pennsylvania’s top industry. It places farmers unnecessarily at risk. These cuts need to be restored now. The General Assembly must work to reverse course on the governor’s decision to cut our agriculture programs.

The only potential reason for zeroing out funding for these important programs is to hold the industry hostage as the governor continues his fight to raise taxes on hard-working Pennsylvanians.

By State Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187
ereath@pahousegop.com
RepMentzer.com / Facebook.com/RepMentzer
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