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State Rep. Dwight Evans



Bill to be introduced Friday; Revenue shortfall expected to hit $3 billion

HARRISBURG (April 30) – House Appropriations Chairman Dwight Evans said today Democrats
will use Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s budget proposal as the basis for crafting a new state spending
plan, a decision that comes even as Pennsylvania’s revenue projections worsen.

Rendell’s approach – including a combination of cuts and revenue increases – protects

Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens even in a time of financial crisis, said Evans, who is
expected to introduce the budget bill on May 1.

“We have been educating the public about the state’s finances since November,” Evans said. “Now
it’s time to move the process forward and introducing legislation is the next step. I have said all
along there is no single solution to this problem and my position hasn’t changed. The Governor has
given us a blueprint that will help shape the debate as we craft the 2009/10 budget.

“No matter how bad the numbers get, the goal of the Democratic Caucus will be to protect the
health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens including children, the disabled and the elderly.”

In February, the Governor proposed a budget for 2009/10 that set General Fund spending at $28.9
billion before any federal stimulus money is included. The current General Fund budget was $28.2
billion before Rendell ordered $556.8 million in cuts. In addition, the Governor hopes to use $1
billion in federal stimulus money to offset the ever-growing revenue shortfall in the current year.

As of yesterday, House Appropriations staff analysts projected that the revenue shortfall for fiscal
year 2008/09 would hit at least $3 billion or $700 million more than governor projected in February
and $400 million more than the legislature projected in March. The higher shortfall complicates the
budget discussions.

“Right now, the numbers are staggering. We have a lot of work to do. We have to be reasonable
and we have to compromise,” Evans said. “Do we need to make decisions that are painful?
Absolutely. But we recognize that when we make cuts, we simply shift the burden to the counties,
the cities, the school districts, the churches, the charities and the foundations. By the same token,
when the state spends money there is a ripple effect in the communities where we invest our

Since Nov. 19, 2008, the House Appropriations Committee has held:
• 42 public hearings on the budget in Harrisburg which included, for the second year in a row,
testimony from citizens;
• 6 subcommittee hearings statewide;
• 1 hearing for members to testify;
• 2 public educational hearings, one on the state of the economy and one on the state’s debt
• 6 budget forums held across Pennsylvania;
• At least two dozen town hall meetings done by members;
• Conducted two cyber town hall meetings; and
• Implemented a more interactive website.

Evans said members of the House and Senate leadership, who have been meeting regularly since
January 6, will continue to negotiate the budget in the hopes of reaching a compromise plan which
both chambers can pass by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.


Johnna A. Pro
Phone: 717-783-8024
Cell: 717-418-3749

Barbara Fellencer
Phone: 717-772-8033
Cell: 717-798-5738

For more information about Rep. Dwight Evans’ legislative initiatives, visit the website
For more information about the House Appropriations Committee, visit the website

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