It has been said that it’s always easier to spend other people’s money than ones own. PA Rep. David Rowe (Snyder, Union) has definitely not said that and does absolutely not believe that when it comes to taxpayer money.
“As a small business owner–and I have been for ten years–for a business to operate it has to be able to live within its means,” Rowe told me on a visit to his Capitol office. “What comes in has to be more than what goes out. Unfortunately, Harrisburg does not have a revenue problem but it does have a very big spending problem. “
Rowe has been a big supporter of the Taxpayer Protection Act, which he points out, is being proposed as a Constitutional amendment. As a result, it does not require the governor’s signature, but it does need approval by the PA House and Senate in two consecutive sessions.
“The Taxpayer Protection Act would limit increases in spending to numbers of economic growth and population growth so that the increases could only be linearly, year to year, as opposed to exponentially, year to year. That will provide a much more sustainable long-term picture for the Commonwealth’s financial well-being. “
Budget talks are underway again. However, there is not a lot of excess money floating around.
“We had last year built up a significant rainy day fund, thanks to a large surplus in funds that came through as a by-product of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Trump. Unfortunately, that entire rainy day fund has dried up, thanks to Gov. Wolf essentially shuttering the Pennsylvania economy to the point of a $5.5-billion deficit. There are going to have to be some very difficult conversations about meaningful cuts in spending.”
Rowe says there will likely be talks about increases in taxes or fees. He is strongly opposed to that.
Rowe just won reelection to a two-year term in this month after winning a special election in 2019 to assume the seat vacated by Rep. Fred Keller when he was elected to Congress. Rowe’s first elected office was as a Township Supervisor in East Buffalo Twp., Union Co.
He is firmly pro-life.
“The sanctity of life from conception to natural death is foundational to our inherent and unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”