Debt Reduction Measure Passes House
12/11/2017
HARRISBURG – A measure aimed at reducing Pennsylvania’s debt burden passed the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester) said today.

“Harrisburg must once again become fiscal stewards of Pennsylvania citizens’ hard-earned money.  We cannot keep up the rate of growth in annual spending as we have under this governor, especially the level of spending in 2016-17, which created the fiscal crisis left for the legislature to resolve this year,” Turzai said. “One way to change the course of direction is to reduce the cost of our annual debt service, and we can only do that by enacting debt reduction measures to bring down general obligation debt itself.”

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 have a responsibility to handle state debt in the most fiscally responsible manner possible. House Bill 83 provides commonsense reform that saves taxpayers significantly over the life of state issued bonds,” said Lawrence.

According to projections from the Governor’s Budget Office, without reform, general obligation debt will increase by nearly $2 billion over the next 20 years, from $11.58 billion in 2016 to $13.404 billion in 2036, with an annual debt service increase of $340 million over the same period.

House Bill 83 passed the House 188-2 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House

28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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