Letters to the Editor

Looking forward to budget process

As state representative of the people of the 81st Legislative District and someone who is opposed to seeking tax increases to solve budget problems before every other avenue has been exhausted, I was pleased to hear the leadership team of the House Republican Caucus publicly express its desire to restructure state government — and not increase taxes.

Pennsylvania has been struggling for the past few years with balancing a growing budget with limited, and largely stagnant, funding resources. A few weeks ago, the Wolf administration announced the state is facing a budget shortfall of $600 million. Overcoming this type of hurdle will take innovative, out-of-the-box thinking; however, taking a fresh approach and re-examining state government to look at new cost-saving measures are exactly what our leadership team in the House is poised to do.

“Government has basically looked the same in Pennsylvania for the last 40 or 50 years,” Majority Leader Dave Reed said to reporters. “…We want the budget to look different this year. We think it has to look different.”

The time has come for real change in how we manage taxpayer dollars in state government, whether that means combining some departments, eliminating redundancies or working more strategically with nonprofits to deliver certain services. These are ideas I have been advocating for since I was first elected to office.

Families and businesses expect more from us, and we need to deliver. I look forward to what is sure to be a challenging budget process this year.

Rep. Rich Irvin,

Spruce Creek