Once again, Pennsylvania is facing a budget crisis. Published reports estimate the deficit at $2 billion to $3 billion over the next two years.
It’s time for our governor and legislature to stop playing hocus pocus with the numbers and find a workable solution. A combination of reduced spending and a modest tax increase could help resolve the crisis.
A great place to start with reduced spending is in the legislature itself. Pennsylvania has the second highest paid legislature in the U.S. Starting salary is about $85,000 per year. That does not include a per diem of $178. By comparison, the Oregon legislature receives $15,000 per year. As a reference, Pennsylvania’s median income is about $53,000 per year. A 20 percent across-the-board cut is justified for our legislature.
Wise spending also needs to be a priority. One national report shows Pennsylvania to have the fifth worst roads and bridges in the U.S. Instead of building new roads we cannot afford to maintain, we should repair the ones we have.
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Voters expect effective responsible leadership. We simply are not getting it. As the May primary election approaches, let’s nominate people who will solve our problems and not create them.
Peter Liese, Warriors Mark