As our State Representative, Ryan Aument did what he promised he would by bringing fiscal discipline to state government and dealing with the loss of billions of dollars in temporary federal stimulus funding. And he did it while ensuring that the money spent by the state still provides help to those who need it most and delivers essential services to Pennsylvanians.
Just as important, Ryan focused state spending on the priorities we care about. In particular, when the Governor proposed reductions in education funding that went beyond the amount of federal stimulus money that had been used to temporarily inflate funding for schools, Ryan said, "No." Instead of these unfair reductions, he and others in the House and Senate successfully fought to ensure that basic education remained a top priority. Today, the final budget commits more state tax dollars to basic education than ever before.
Thanks to the work of Ryan and the other legislators who worked to pass the FY2011-12 budget, Pennsylvania again stands on a strong financial foundation and now spends less than it did the year before.
While important steps to instill fiscal discipline have been taken, Ryan knows there is still more we can do to address the things that drive up costs in state and local government.
Ryan has kept his promise to support initiatives that will help provide property tax relief for homeowners across Pennsylvania.
Giving Local Taxpayers a Stronger Voice
Ryan supported a new law that gives taxpayers a stronger voice in controlling property tax increases by forcing school boards to put property tax increases on the ballot for approval in more instances than ever before.
Use Gaming Money as Promised
Ryan voted for bipartisan legislation in the state House that would require 100% of table games money to be used for property tax relief across the state. This legislation now awaits action in the state Senate.
Working to Reduce Costs for School Districts and Local Government
Ryan supports property tax relief legislation that would allow school districts to opt-out of costly prevailing wage requirements on publicly-funded construction projects; prevailing wage can add up to 30% in costs for taxpayers.
A Pension System That's Fair to Workers and Taxpayers
Ryan supports efforts to change new public employee pensions to a defined contribution, 401k-style plan like those in the private sector receive. This legislation will protect the pensions of current employees while reducing short- and long-term costs for governments at every level.
Pushing for Mandate Relief
Ryan will continue to push for mandate relief that will reduce the burden placed on local governments and school districts to pay for things for which they receive no state funding; this would help reduce unfair costs for taxpayers.