OP-ED: Senate will review Corbett budget proposal


Governor Corbett announced his spending proposal for state government during his annual budget address on March 8. I am very pleased that the governor presented a budget that accomplishes some of my highest priorities — a balanced budget that reduces government spending with NO tax or fee increases on families or job-creators. After several years of bloated, unrealistic budget proposals under Governor Rendell that “balanced” only through gimmicks and sleight of hand, the budget presented to the General Assembly this year proposes significant changes in how state government operates.

To balance the budget without asking for additional support from taxpayers, the budget proposal includes a number of very painful cuts to state programs and services. The essential services that Pennsylvanians rely on most will be preserved, but a total of 103 line items would be eliminated and an additional 153 would be reduced. While I wholeheartedly support the governor's call for reduced spending, the Senate must go through this proposal line by line to ensure that we make the best decisions possible with taxpayer dollars. Likewise, we must examine every program and department to discover new ways to save taxpayer dollars. This is a daunting task, but the future of our state depends on making the difficult decisions today to build a brighter tomorrow.

There is no arguing that times are tough. Many hardworking local residents are still struggling to find employment, and many small businesses are fighting just to keep their heads above water during the recession. State government should not be immune from this pain, and this year's budget will ensure that government learns to do more with less. In addition to reducing the size of state government, the proposal consolidates 55 line items to promote greater efficiency in state spending. Promoting these kind of efficiencies will be crucial to delivering a leaner, more responsive state government that does not waste taxpayer dollars due to mismanagement and bureaucracy.

The recession has caused great hardship, but rather than wilt from these challenges, we should use this budget as an opportunity to make Pennsylvania state government work better and more efficiently for the people we serve. The General Assembly will work together with Governor Corbett in the coming weeks and months to help chart a new course for our state, and I look forward to working to bring our Commonwealth back to prosperity.

Senator Alloway represents the 33rd Senatorial District, which includes all of Adams and Franklin counties and parts of York County. ‘