“Today’s passage of the Senate’s version of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget marks an important step toward delivering a timely and balanced state budget to the citizens of the Commonwealth at the start of the coming new fiscal year. The fact that this budget is balanced without any new broad-based taxes is also an important recognition of the need for fiscal discipline in these economically uncertain times.
The Senate Republican Caucus and its individual members offered many amendments to this budget, and we are appreciative for the approval of some key items, including:
- Measures to curb EBT Card abuse;
- An amendment closing a serious loophole in Melanie’s Law regarding drunk driving;
- A provision to ensure that those who traffic in methamphetamines are properly addressed by appropriate laws;
- An examination of costly reporting requirements imposed by state government on local school systems;
- Provisions to benefit local farmers in controlling new pests that threaten their crops; and
- Comprehensive measures to prevent those not present in the United States legally from obtaining rights or benefits reserved for those who are.
Further, items included in the budget approved today also reflect shared priorities for supporting our partners in local government by increasing spending for Chapter 70 education aid, Unrestricted General Government aid, and Regional School Transportation Aid, and by modernizing and strengthening the Community Preservation Act.
While we will continue to pursue every opportunity to take actions that will achieve savings and foster job creation, we also look forward to advancing the budget passed today through the legislative process.
I appreciate the time and care that Chairman Brewer and his staff invested in this budget. Their hard work provided the groundwork necessary needed to facilitate the impact of every member of the Senate on the state’s largest spending bill.”