Ward: Gov. Wolf Sends General Assembly Budget Proposal with Huge Spending Increases

HARRISBURG – In an address to the General Assembly, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $45.7 billion 2022-23 state budget that would increase General Fund spending by $4.5 billion, Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) said today.

“These numbers are not based in reality, and I respectfully disagree with the governor’s numbers,” Sen. Ward said. “This kind of spending is reckless and moving forward it does not put us on a path to financial prosperity. The governor is going to have to sharpen his pencil on this budget.”

The new spending includes $2 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Including the expenditure of federal dollars returned to Pennsylvania during the pandemic, the governor’s budget represents a 10.9% increase in spending.

According to Senate Appropriations Committee budget projections, the governor’s plan will produce a $1.3 billion deficit for the 2023-24 fiscal year and create an even bigger bill for Pennsylvania taxpayers to pay long after the governor leaves office: a $13 billion deficit by 2026-27.

“The Governor’s proposed budget includes an alarming increase in spending,” said Ward. “As we move through the budget negotiation process, we must be concerned with the impacts that such drastic spending increases would have down the road, and we must ensure that the budget we adopt is fiscally responsible. We cannot saddle Pennsylvania taxpayers with costs we cannot afford and jeopardize our state’s financial future.”

The Senate will hold a series of public hearings in the coming weeks to review the spending plan and produce a more responsible budget proposal that funds essential services while shielding taxpayers from the consequences of reckless overspending.

CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-2421