Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget:

"Gov. Ed Rendell still does not get it. I did not support last year's budget because it spends too much and now he is proposing spending $1.2 billion more than that. One of my House colleagues said it best, 'As we sat in the House Chamber waiting for the big snowstorm, the governor delivered the biggest snow job of all.'

"Despite revenues falling $3.25 billion short of predictions last year and state revenues already $374 million below predictions for this year, the governor wants to spend even more next year and he wants to increase taxes to pay for it.

"The current budget has drained all of Pennsylvania's reserve funds. As a result, we have nothing in reserve to offset the current shortfall. That means taxpayers will be forced to pick up the tab for the governor's spending.

"As Pennsylvania families continue to struggle to make ends meet, state government cannot keep spending like there is no tomorrow and expecting the taxpayers to pick up the tab. As budget negotiations move forward, we must take a serious look at every line of state spending to determine where waste and abuse are occurring and eliminate them."