Sen. Wagner wants ideas to save state money

Greg Gross

State Sen. Scott Wagner wants to hear your ideas on how the state can save money.

His office on Friday launched a website that allows taxpayers to share their ideas for cutting government spending, and within an hour and a half it had 42, said Erin Marsicano, a spokeswoman for Wagner.

"Generally speaking, we've seen good, legitimate responses," she said.

The submissions include some ideas the General Assembly has taken up in the past but never seen to fruition.

One idea is to reduce the size of the Legislature. Another was for pension reform. Others include privatizing the state-owned liquor system, reforming welfare and introducing a statewide, single-payer health care system for teachers, Marsicano said.

What's next: Staff at Spring Garden Township Republican's office will review each submission, which could end up posted on the website, and will pass the information along to the senator.

It also gives residents another way of having their voices, albeit in the written form, heard, Marsicano said.

"This is a way to show what the people are actually saying," she said.

The site was launched on the heels of a compromise budget, which had been agreed upon by Gov. Tom Wolf, the Senate and House Democrats, that would have likely caused taxes in the state to increase. That budget wasn't voted on in the House, and instead Wolf signed parts of a Senate budget late last month.

“The only responsible thing to do is address the spending side of the equation before reaching into the wallets of Pennsylvania taxpayers,” Wagner said in a news release.

On the site, Wagner listed a few of his own ideas by eliminating the prevailing wage mandates and using Medicaid savings to prevent tax hikes.

While Wagner and Wolf don't see eye-to-eye and every issue, they appear to agree on at least two ideas to save the state some cash.

Wolf previously said he wants to move the management of pension funds to a private firm and implemented the Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization and Efficiency, or Go-Time savings initiative. Both those ideas are also listed on Wagner's site.

Residents can also submit ideas via social media by using the #SavePa hashtag; tweeting at @SenScottWagner; leaving a comment on his Facebook page; or by going to senatorscottwagner.com/SavePA.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.