HARRISBURG – Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) made the following statement on the vote to non-concur to the House amendments to HB 453:
“Yesterday, the Senate voted to not accept the House amendments to HB 453, which relies heavily on transferring funds from a number of state programs. I am not opposed to the idea of fund transfers, but we need to ensure that moving the money does not hurt programs and services for my constituents in the 35th District.
I was certainly optimistic when the plan was unveiled last week, and am an advocate to reduce spending. While some of the transfers in the $630 million proposal are acceptable, unfortunately some may not be legal based on research done by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Still, others would hurt crucial services and are not in the best interests of the 35th District.
Specifically, the plan to take money from the Public Transportation Trust Fund could eliminate the only passenger rail service from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, force CamTran to eliminate Saturday and Sunday service, and eliminate monies for projects that have been awarded to municipalities in our District. Also, many other projects aimed at economic growth would be in jeopardy.
As amended in the House, this proposal would undo the substantial progress that has been made in acid mine drainage remediation by stripping away funding in Cambria and Clearfield Counties. In addition, the proposal would significantly cut money going to the Growing Greener Program which will hurt farmers in the 35th District.
While I could not agree to accept the House amendments as is, I am committed to continuing the conversation so that we can pass a fiscally responsible budget quickly. I think it’s important to commend the House for identifying some of the funds from which we may be able to pull money. I will continue to work toward a final product that will target reasonable transfers while not raising taxes.”
CONTACT: Gwenn Dando (717) 599-1164