HARRISBURG, Sept. 20, 2017 — State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on Pennsylvania’s credit rating downgrade by S&P Global Ratings due to a failure to enact a revenue plan to balance the 2017-18 state budget:
“The Senate passed a revenue package in July but unfortunately, efforts to balance the budget did not continue until just last week in the House,” Hughes said. “We knew this day would come if a budget was not completed, and it will have consequences. A credit downgrade will have a direct impact on Pennsylvania taxpayers and will put our state economy at further risk.
“Four of the five negotiators in the budget process have agreed on how the budget should be paid for. One entity, the House Republican Caucus, is holding up everything and has caused this downgrade. And it was predicted,” Hughes said. “More so, the rating agencies rejected the House Republican proposal passed last week, which has many aspects that are likely illegal if not unconstitutional.
“We have made significant bipartisan compromises in this process. It’s now time for the last party, the House Republican Caucus, to come to the table and get this done,” Hughes said. “It’s critical that the House and Senate work together quickly in a bipartisan manner to enact a revenue package that avoids further financial risk and moves Pennsylvania forward.”