The budget we passed is fiscally responsible, aligns state spending with available revenues, and holds spending growth below the rate of inflation. My main priorities for this budget have been to hold the line on spending and to pass a no-tax-increase budget. This budget meets both those criteria.
There are so many elements that go into crafting a state budget, and it is impossible to please everyone. One thing I would have liked to address in this budget is the looming pension crisis. While we were not able to come to an agreement on reforming the state pension system at this time, Governor Tom Corbett has committed to working on a solution over the next year. I am looking forward to collaborating with him and my legislative colleagues to fix our pension problem.
As the nation and state continue to recover from the economic recession, I will remain focused on policies that protect taxpayers, empower the private sector to create jobs, and streamline state government. This budget is another incremental step toward regaining the fiscal confidence we had before the recession.
The budget bill now heads back to the Senate for its approval.