HARRISBURG – Unleashing Pennsylvania’s energy potential, while creating significant job growth, is something that was lacking today as Governor Josh Shapiro delivered his first budget address to a joint session of the state legislature, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
Yaw noted that while the governor’s support for Senate Republican priorities such as workforce development and career and technical training, infrastructure, safe communities and mental/behavioral health are appreciated, the plan still boosts state government spending to unsustainable levels.
“Pennsylvania families need relief from policies that attack our energy sector, rising utility bills and soaring prices at the pump,” Yaw said. “By now, it should be obvious, even to Democrats, that we need more, not less, energy production to alleviate some of these costs. Growing our energy supply will help bring prices back down.”
Shapiro’s $45.8 billion plan seeks to boost state spending by more than $1.3 billion above the current year’s budget, including hundreds of millions of dollars that backfill federal funding that was cut by the Biden Administration at the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In addition to the many spending proposals that are cause for concern, the budget appears to assume Pennsylvania will remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which will burden all Pennsylvanians with an annual tax on electricity of nearly $670 million.
Shapiro’s spending plan would also nearly erase Rainy Day reserves by the end of his first term in office, which would mean the state would face higher borrowing costs and be in a much worse position to weather any potential downturns in the economy.
Although Senate Republicans fought to build up the Rainy Day Fund over the past two years to more than $5 billion, the fund’s reserves still remain below the national average.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin a series of public hearings on Shapiro’s 2023-24 budget plan on March 20.
Nick Troutman, Chief of Staff
Office of State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)
362 Main Capitol Building, Senate Box 203023
Harrisburg, PA 17120
T: (717) 787-3280
F: (717) 772-0575