Bill is first authored by Lewis to be approved by the full House
HARRISBURG – Freshman lawmaker Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Dauphin), who has made government reform a top priority since taking office, today celebrated his first bill – a debt reform measure – to earn approval in the full House.
“It’s exciting to see this important, pro-taxpayer initiative moving forward through the legislative process,” Lewis said. “Pennsylvania citizens and employers are already overburdened by taxes. One of the most important steps we can take to control taxes, and the state spending they support, is by limiting the amount of debt we take on. My bill will help us take that step.”
Watch Rep. Lewis’ comments on the importance of House Bill 880 here
House Bill 880
would lower the debt ceiling for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) by $100 million per year starting in 2022 until the ceiling drops to $2.65 billion in 2026. Lewis’ bill kicks in after a current debt reduction law expires in two years. The current law is reducing the ceiling by $50 million per year and will bring the ceiling down to $3.15 billion in 2021.
According to the Pennsylvania Treasury, the Commonwealth is spending $1.118 billion in the current fiscal year to finance its debt. The Wolf administration estimates that will rise to $1.185 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year.
“This level of debt is simply not sustainable,” Lewis said. “Less borrowing leads to less debt which leads to less spending on debt and more funding available to support the core functions of our government, such as public education, health and safety.”
The lawmaker noted the debt ceiling for the RACP program increased from just $400 million in 1986 to a high of $4.05 billion in 2010. Since 2013, House Republicans have led the effort to reduce the debt ceiling to its current level of $3.25 billion.
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
Representative Andrew Lewis
105th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler