State Rep. Jerry Knowles (R- Berks/ Schuykill) recently voted against legislation to increase taxes on Pennsylvania families and businesses by $1 billion.

House Bill 1531, the tax code bill which must accompany the state budget, represents a $1 billion tax increase on Pennsylvania's families and businesses including new and increased taxes on cigarettes, tobacco products, and natural gas extraction among others.

We are in the middle of a recession that has devastated families and businesses across Pennsylvania," said Knowles. "I have heard from my constituents who cannot afford to send even more of their hard-earned money to Harrisburg so state government can continue its reckless spending spree. When families sit down to pay their bills each month, they do not have the option of just demanding more money if they find they are spending more than they have. As lawmakers, we should not have that option either."

Knowles added that House Republicans have offered a balanced budget plan that would fully fund state services without increasing taxes.

"The budget plan I support sets reasonable spending priorities based on the realities of our current financial situation and it does not raise taxes," Knowles said. "I will not vote to raise taxes on the working families of my district so the governor can keep the money flowing to Philadelphia."

House Bill 1531 passed the House by a vote of 103 to 98.