Jun. 30, 2015

HARRISBURG – After Tuesday’s votes in the House, where two important proposals, Senate Bill 1, a public pension reform measure, and House Bill 466, a plan to get Pennsylvania out of the liquor business, were both passed, Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) issued the following statement:

“Faced with revenues from liquor sales eventually drying up, House Bill 466 will bring recurring revenues to our state and result in long-term solvency to the issue. Many people wonder why we are talking about liquor privatization, and the simple fact is that in several years, we as a Commonwealth, would begin to lose money from the sale of liquor in our current state-owned system. Even with one of the highest tax rates on liquor in all the United States, we would actually have to put money from our budget to fund the sales of a product that basically sells itself. The state should not lose money in selling liquor, and that is our current path.

“As for public pension reform, it’s the No. 1 financial issue facing our state at this time, and it must be addressed. If we continue to do nothing, we stand the chance of worsening our state’s credit rating, jeopardizing our current employees and retirees’ pensions, and continuing to allow our pension costs to significantly claim larger shares of available revenues in every budget cycle moving forward. The most important issue I hear about from people in the 120th District is the high cost of property taxes, and pension costs continue to be the biggest cost-driver of increasing property taxes throughout our Commonwealth.

“The amended version of Senate Bill 1 represents $10 billion in savings for our children’s generation and the fact that we will no longer kick the can down the line on our state’s biggest fiscal issue. A failure to act on this legislation would add to the public’s lack of faith and put us in the same category as so many of our colleagues in Washington, D.C., who refuse to address the biggest issues of our federal government. This is a significant vote to address the biggest issue facing budgetary solvency for our children and grandchildren, and the General Assembly took a major step in doing that today.”

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre), and House Bill 466, sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), have been sent to the governor for his consideration.

For more information about these pieces of legislation, or any other state-related issue, contact Kaufer’s district office in Luzerne located at 161 Main St., by calling 570-283-1001. Information can also be found online at RepKaufer.com or Facebook.com/RepKaufer.

Representative Aaron Kaufer
120th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
RepKaufer.com / Facebook.com/RepKaufer