HARRISBURG – State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) released the following statement in response to the announcement that Gov. Tom Wolf would not veto the General Assembly’s legislation to complete the 2015-16 state budget, and will instead allow it to become law:
“Since the General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 1801 last week, citizens across Pennsylvania have been calling on Gov. Wolf to bring the impasse to an end by allowing this no-tax-increase budget to become law.
“We heard the governor claim he intended to veto this bill because it did not include the tax increases he needs. I am pleased the governor finally came to his senses by allowing the Legislature’s responsible spending plan to become law.
“This nine-month budget impasse was unnecessary and unacceptable. Pennsylvanians continued to pay taxes while school districts and agencies took out interest-bearing loans in order to maintain operations.
“All of the budget bills we have passed, including the one sent to Gov. Wolf last June before our Constitutional deadline, would have fully funded government services and included record-setting state funding for education without increasing taxes.
“The governor’s unilateral decisions that created crisis after crisis accomplished nothing except to create pain, panic and uncertainty while increasing costs on taxpayers.
“With a full budget in place, school districts will now receive the funds they desperately need to stay open. Agricultural programs and Penn State Extension will be saved from ruin and government agencies will be able to return to the business of serving the residents of the Commonwealth who faithfully pay their bills. This good news comes not a moment too soon.
“I especially want to thank the citizens who stood with me to fight against higher taxes in spite of the pain and suffering this governor created as he held hostages for nearly nine months. The people spoke loud and clear, and today’s announcement shows citizens and taxpayers have prevailed.
“We now have the opportunity to turn our full attention to the 2016-17 budget, which is due on June 30. I have every confidence the Legislature will complete a full, responsible spending plan before our constitutional deadline, and I look forward to doing the work necessary to get that accomplished.”