Bizzarro: 2016-17 budget must work for our middle class

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016-17 fiscal year:

“It’s no secret that drastic changes are needed in order to move our commonwealth forward. For too long, job growth has been stagnant, schools have been underfunded and property taxes have ballooned. We can’t afford to continue down such a destructive and unstable path.

“I applaud the governor's efforts to improve our state’s finances and put the commonwealth on track for a brighter and prosperous future. By getting Pennsylvania back on sound fiscal footing, we will help build a stronger middle class, fully fund our schools and protect older Pennsylvanians.

“The road ahead isn’t easy. Hardworking Pennsylvanians, especially in our region, have already had to make tremendous sacrifices to provide for their families and stay in their homes. We need to be cautious about how we budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and remember to put the people of Pennsylvania before politics and gimmicks. Without question, additional revenue is needed. Finding the appropriate way to generate the revenue is the major issue at hand.

“Of course, before any major work can begin on next year’s budget, we need to come to a responsible agreement on the current fiscal plan. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better than the stalemate they’ve been forced to deal with. We must get our finances in order for this year so that we can tackle the 2016-17 budget with a clean slate.”