Top House Democrats react to Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to let budget become law

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.–Top House Democrats reacted to Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to let the 2017-18 budget become law without his signature.

So far, three members of the Democratic leadership have released official statements.

Democratic Minority Leader Frank Dermody on closing the budget gap:

“We passed a good bill that invests money where it’s needed – education, protection of seniors and services for people in need, and wider treatment of heroin addiction. Now we’ve got to find a way to pay for it with real recurring revenue. That work’s not done yet. We need to stay here and get it done. We have to do it in a responsible way to help the people of Pennsylvania.

“Democrats believe there are better ways to close the budget gap if we keep working through this, including passing a reasonable and fair tax on shale gas and closing corporate tax loopholes. These steps to find reliable recurring revenue will ease the burden on regular taxpayers and will be noticed by the outside agencies that are preparing to downgrade the state’s bond rating if we don’t do this right.”

Democratic Whip Mike Hanna on the need for more bipartisanship moving forward:

“Democrats and Republicans need to compromise to come up with a solution. It cannot be dictated by one party if that party is unwilling to put up votes to pass a bill. This is the kind of nonsense that got us in this fiscal mess. We need to work together to balance the budget in a responsible way that doesn’t put us in a deeper hole next year.”

House Appropriations Committee Democratic Minority Chairman Joe Markosek on the Republican revenue package shortfall:

“No more than 18 percent of their so-called ‘revenue package’ is actual recurring revenue, even if we accept some of their generous assumptions about what the new gaming taxes might raise. With a budget gap well above $2 billion, Republican leadership offered a plan that’s heavily reliant on borrowing more money and increasing state debt just to pay our current operating costs.”