Negotiations haven’t gotten started for the state budget due in July, but already a top-ranking Republican said he thinks the commonwealth will need more money.
“You’re going to need some revenue,” said Rep. Bill Adolph, R-Delaware, chair of the House Appropriations committee, at the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday. “You may be able to get there without a broad-based tax. I do believe — it’s just my opinion —that there’s going to be some kind of revenue to balance the budget this year.”
Adolph cited the state’s projected structural deficit — expected to be well over a billion dollars, though he held out hope that the state’s April tax collections would minimize the budget gap.
The retiring Delaware County lawmaker said there’s no potential menu of tax increases or other new revenue options, since negotiations haven’t begun.
Political dynamics haven’t changed since the current year’s budget stalemate ended last month. The GOP-controlled and increasingly conservative legislature is resistant to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s calls to hike spending using a number of tax increases.
Some of Adolph’s House GOP colleagues have swapped plans for spending cuts in the next budget, according to reporting by The Philadelphia Inquirer. But Adolph said he wouldn’t support that approach.
“It would not be what I’m looking for in a budget with a structural deficit,” Adolph told reporters Monday. “I don’t see how you get a budget passed by doing that.”