Week of August 24, 2015
Senate State Government and Finance Committee Joint Hearing
For that reason, the Senate State Government Committee, which I chair, and the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Eichelberger, held a joint hearing to examine what is being done across the nation to address costs, as well as how Pennsylvania ranks with other states in addressing its fiscal challenges. The first hearing was Thursday, August 20. During this hearing, we received testimony from national organizations on PA’s fiscal health, tax climate and best practices for budgeting.
According to a July 2015 study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition,” Pennsylvania ranks 41st among the states for its fiscal health: 45th in cash solvency, 39th in budget solvency, 36th in long-run solvency, 17th in service-level solvency, and 26th in trust fund solvency. Clearly, we need to be proactive in ensuring the taxpayers get their money’s worth.
There is also historical precedent for the Legislature to look at how taxpayer resources are spent. One of the best examples is from 1941 when then US Senator Harry Truman formed the “Truman Committee” to look at how Billions of dollars’ of tax moneys were being spent and, in the process, found ways to save Millions – without compromising the national defense at a time of war. The “Truman Committee” is estimated to have generated cost savings of about $15 Billion – a sizeable sum both then and now.
With this in mind, our committees took a page from Senator Truman by looking at ways Pennsylvania can use examples from other states to better control spending – and ultimately save taxpayers’ money. Our goal is to squeeze every penny from each tax dollar. Video of the hearing, the agenda and testimony can be viewed here.
Pennsylvania Bureau of Unclaimed Property
Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Public Library Grants
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