Metcalfe Confirms Corbett’s Budget Falls More Than $1 Billion Short in Overdue Welfare Spending Reductions
HARRISBURG—Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Chairman, State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), issued the following statement today regarding Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2012-13 state budget proposal:

“The governor’s proposed 2012-13 state budget falls more than $1 billion short in overdue, welfare spending cuts. The governor needs to exchange his butter knife for a meat cleaver and cut even more wasteful and excessive welfare spending.”

Metcalfe further expounded on the governor’s proposed budget by sharing excerpts from a letter sent to the governor last week that included his signature and those of 15 other House Republican lawmakers:

“Learning to do more with less is a reality currently facing many Pennsylvania residents. With the 2012-13 budget looming, state elected officials stand at a crossroads. We closed 2011 with General Fund revenues 4 percent below expectations, equating to approximately $486 million. We are also facing a debt to the federal government, upward of $3 billion, for unpaid unemployment compensation.

“We are faced with tough decisions and must look at the state agencies with obese budgets. Under the previous governor’s administration, the budget in the Department of Public Welfare escalated in excess of $10 billion, well above the rate of inflation. In the 2011-2012 state budget, the Department of Public Welfare consumed 39 percent of General Fund spending. That is more spending than any other agency in the Commonwealth.

“The original intent of a welfare system was never a long-term solution for financial support. Taxpayers can no longer afford to subsidize the lives of their neighbors. It is time to rein in the excessive spending, streamline programs and create efficiencies within the Department of Public Welfare. The Legislature has already taken the first steps to facilitate policies to crack down on fraud in the system and end the ‘close your eyes and authorize’ policies of the Department of Public Welfare.

“....Even if we reduced the welfare budget by only 10 percent, we could save the taxpayers of the Commonwealth more than $1 billion. The way to grow our economy is not on the backs of taxpayers, but through reducing the taxpayers’ burden.”

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State Representative Daryl Metcalfe
12th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Ty McCauslin
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