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

Working to Reform the Commonwealth’s Budget Process
1/18/2018
By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
The past few years have made it abundantly clear that Pennsylvania’s budget process needs major modifications. The large budget deficits that were avoidable and skyrocketing spending proposals – among other things – have been an embarrassment, and it’s time for things to change.

To address the Commonwealth’s faulty budget process, the House recently passed a historic package of bills that will help instill the integrity, transparency and spending limits that taxpayers deserve.

Pennsylvania’s budget woes have been exacerbated by the governor’s level of participation for the last three years. In that time, he has not signed a budget, but has spent taxpayer money without the statutory authority to do so.

The package of six bills – House Bills 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 – requires transparency through an official estimate of how much money the state will have, more information about the balances in taxpayer-supported special funds used to provide grants and subsidies and the creation of monetary reserves during revenue shortfalls.

One of the biggest challenges we face each year is state spending. House Bill 110, also approved by the House, would impose a cap based on recent increases in the Consumer Price Index and state population growth. Because the bill is a constitutional amendment, it must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions and then by the state’s voters.

Legislation requiring performance-based budgeting was enacted earlier this year to provide the General Assembly with information about the outcomes of state programs. This information will help legislators decide which programs to fund and which to eliminate.

These budget reforms are a great start to fundamentally improving how we handle our finances, and they ensure that both taxpayers and the programs they fund are protected. As legislators, it is our job to improve processes, even ones that were enacted long ago, for the betterment of the Commonwealth and all who call it home.
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