Turzai, Lawrence Say Debt Reduction Measure Headed to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester/Lancaster) are urging Gov. Tom Wolf to sign into law a measure authored by Lawrence aimed at reducing Pennsylvania’s debt burden. The bill was approved in the state Senate earlier today.

“The Senate’s passage of House Bill 83 puts Harrisburg one step closer to becoming true fiscal stewards of Pennsylvania citizens’ hard-earned money. While the economy is improving for Pennsylvanians, we must continue to reign in government debt,” Turzai said. “This is an important bill to help protect taxpayer dollars, and Gov. Wolf should sign it.” 

House Bill 83, sponsored by Lawrence, would require the administration to use responsible debt management practices by repaying new capital debt using a level principal payment approach, which saves taxpayer dollars by reducing the amount spent on interest. An analysis by House Appropriations Committee staff estimates that this one reform would reduce outstanding general obligation debt by $1 billion over 20 years. 

“We applaud the Senate for passing House Bill 83, which provides commonsense reform that saves taxpayers significantly over the life of state-issued bonds,” said Lawrence. “We urge the governor to sign it.”

During the 10-year period from 2008 through 2017, outstanding general obligation debt increased by $3.832 billion, an increase of almost 47 percent. Over that same period, debt service paid out of the General Fund grew from $1 billion to $1.407 billion, an increase of almost 47 percent. Per capita debt increased by $85 in the one-year period from 2016 to 2017, or 7.8 percent. Per capita debt at the end of fiscal year 2017 was $1,172.

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House 
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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