HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk), which would reduce the debt ceiling in Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), is now in the hands of the state Senate following passage of House Bill 493 by the full House on Wednesday.
“RACP can be a useful job-creating tool that was unfortunately treated by the previous administration as a credit card with an unlimited balance,” Gabler said. “House Bill 493 locks in a more responsible and accountable mean of managing this program and reduces the amount of debt we will be handing to future generations of Pennsylvanians.”
RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects with a focus on job creation. Gabler’s legislation decreases the RACP debt ceiling from its current $4.05 billion to $3.45 billion, an immediate reduction of $600 million.
“My bill does nothing to prevent RCAP from fulfilling its role as a viable economic development tool,” added Gabler. “What it does is place less of a burden on our kids and grandkids by reducing our level of debt and the amount of debt payments we have to pay each year. This will free up more tax dollars to be used on the core functions of government.”
In addition, Gabler’s legislation requires RACP projects to follow a more transparent legislative and administrative process for approval. House Bill 493 is a follow-up to last session’s House Bill 2175, which passed the House but stalled in the state Senate.
“Many of the reforms suggested by House Bill 2175 last session have been implemented administratively,” said Gabler. “It is, however, the Legislature’s job to pass laws ensuring proper management of the taxpayers’ dollars. House Bill 493 ensures that these reforms are not just a temporary fix, but a permanent improvement in how our state does business.”
Questions about this or any other legislative issue may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois district office at 814-375-4688 or his St. Marys office at 814-781-6301.