Quinn Does Not Support Cuts in State Budget Bill
Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) released the following statement regarding her vote to non-concur with House Bill 1416, as amended by the Senate:
“I was sent to Harrisburg to do what is best for the people of the 143rd District, and I do not believe this budget embodies the priorities of the people, businesses and communities I represent. It is unfortunate that the amendment to House Bill 1416 offered by Rep. Mario Civera (R-Delaware) last week was not approved. That amendment was a practical compromise between these very different versions of the budget that would have continued funding for many important programs, increased funding for basic education, funded higher education and avoided a broad-based tax increase. I voted in favor of that amendment, and I truly believe that budget is the best plan for the Commonwealth.
“When it comes to legislation that is the size and scope of the budget bill, there are always aspects you agree with and those you do not. Unfortunately, I only get an up or down vote and do not have the opportunity for a line-by-line veto. While I am pleased that the Senate version does not require a tax increase, its spending cuts would have a negative impact on the communities I represent. I could not support the Democrat version that passed the House on July 17, because its spending levels were unrealistically high, and I cannot support the version sent back from the Senate because the cuts are too deep.
“Many members of the General Assembly, including myself, are disappointed in the political games that have been played throughout this budget debate. Making state workers, students or any group of people pawns in a political battle is unconscionable. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better from their leadership. Many of the tactics used in this budget were underhanded and fly in the face of reform, government accountability and openness.
“As someone who has a deep respect for higher education, I was shocked by the last-minute proposal to carve out $1.2 billion in funding for state-owned universities, community colleges and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Failing to fund higher education would have had a detrimental and far-reaching impact that goes beyond the setting of tuition prices and student aid payments. If this proposal were to become a reality, it would trigger a domino effect throughout the state. Many communities and business owners depend on the income generated by institutions of higher education. Additionally, young adults rely on their status as students for the continuation of their health benefits as dependents of their parents. Thousands of people are frustrated today not knowing if they are going to be able to afford to start school in a few weeks.”
On July 21, the House voted to non-concur on House Bill 1416 by a vote of 150 to 49. This means Pennsylvania still has no budget. The legislation will now go to conference committee, and the Commonwealth will have to wait to see what the compromised version of the budget will look like.
Rep. Marguerite Quinn
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nicole Wamsley