Tell Speaker Turzai: Don’t Play Games With State Finances!

House Speaker Mike Turzai

Turzai_gop_budget_action_page_petition

The state budget negotiations continue to drag on, and reports indicate that four of five parties involved in the talks (Gov. Wolf, Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and House Democrats) have agreed in principle to a revenue plan.

The holdout? Extremist House Republicans led by Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) who irresponsibly refuse to agree to the plan because they cannot agree to recurring revenue sources that the state so desperately needs.

This is unacceptable.

There is broad, bipartisan consensus for other revenue mechanisms, like a tax on natural gas drillers, but Speaker Turzai is content to mortgage Pennsylvania's future instead of holding drilling companies accountable for paying their fair share.

The House GOP counter-offer is a combination of expanded gambling, one-time liquor privatization revenue, and reckless borrowing from a number of funds.

With a bipartisan agreement on the table, the extremist House GOP leadership is willing to drive the state off a fiscal cliff in order to avoid their responsibilities as legislators to balance the budget and tend to the long-term fiscal health of the state.

Eventually, this kind of reckless budgeting will lead to cuts to education and critical services in communities across the state.

Tell Representative Turzai to stop playing political games with Pennsylvania's state finances.

To: House Speaker Mike Turzai
From: [Your Name]

With a bipartisan budget agreement on the table, you have made it clear that you're willing to drive the state off a fiscal cliff in order to avoid your responsibility to balance the budget and tend to the long-term fiscal health of the state. This is unacceptable. There is broad, bipartisan support for a tax on natural gas drillers, for example, but you refuse to hold them accountable for paying their fair share. The offer that you have made in response is unacceptable. It will not keep the state from having its credit downgraded, and it does not address our long-term fiscal needs. Borrowing from the future is no way to pay for the present needs of our communities. The House Republicans need stop playing political games with Pennsylvania's state finances. We need recurring revenue to balance the budget for this year and years to come. Whether it's a bipartisan-supported severance tax or other recurring revenue mechanisms, it’s time for state House members to do their jobs.