– Legislation sponsored by Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) that would help the General Assembly to better track and anticipate state spending became law today without the governor’s signature.
Ryan’s legislation, which was amended into Act 70 of 2021
, enables the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to use dynamic scoring to scrutinize any legislation containing expenditures with a fiscal impact of more than $50 million if requested by a member of the General Assembly. Dynamic scoring is an economic forecasting technique that estimates the budgetary impact of a change in government policy or expenditure.
Currently, IFO revenue estimates on proposed legislation are based on the loss of revenue, and dynamic scoring is used for proposed budget bills. Under Act 70, any legislation with a price tag exceeding $50 million could be examined using this method.
Dynamic scoring will require the IFO to consider the probable behavioral responses of taxpayers, businesses and other persons in response to the proposed legislation and include a statement that outlines those assumptions in its revenue estimates.
“My goal is to strengthen our ability to monitor state spending and bring it under control,” said Ryan. “Dynamic scoring will allow the IFO to examine how spending proposals could impact future budgets and our government’s ability to remain solvent. I am concerned about the course our Commonwealth is on and believe we need to adopt policies now that will enable us to more effectively predict future expenditures and help to ensure a brighter outlook for our children and grandchildren.
“I have been working for several years to pass this legislation and have repeatedly predicted what will happen if we do not bring state spending under control – and soon,” said Ryan. “This is what we need, and I am frankly surprised it has taken this long. The 10-day period, during which the governor must sign bills into law or veto them, has passed and the bill became law without his signature – or an acknowledgment about the value of dynamic scoring. By expanding the use of this important revenue forecasting tool, we will be able to take a more informed and proactive approach to state spending and a secure future.”
Note: This report updated on 7-12-21