Rep. Grove named to GOP-led PennSAVE
A York County Republican has been named to a state House group aimed at cutting government waste and inefficiencies.
Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, will sit on the GOP-created PennSAVE — an acronym that stands for Pennsylvania savings, accountability, value and efficiency — along with 18 other House Republicans. He is the only one from York County.
“Before taxpayers are asked to take a pay cut in order to send more money to Harrisburg, state government first needs to be accountable to taxpayers by ensuring it has explored every practical option for reducing costs,” Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre and Mifflin counties, said in a statement. “In a $30.3 billion budget, there are plenty of opportunities to find efficiencies and improve how government works.”
PennSAVE will research potential cost-saving measures, including state agency and program consolidation, unaddressed audit findings, government procurement policies and “corporate welfare." It will operate as a special subcommittee of the House Majority Policy Committee.
Pairing: Grove, who is also on the House Appropriations Committee, is known as the numbers guy in the House.
"People know I like numbers. I enjoy them," he said. "You have to constantly analyze and look at them."
In December, he and Republican colleagues released a report that found Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's office spent more than $30.4 billion between July 1, when the state budget impasse started, and Oct. 31, 2015.
PennSAVE will hold frequent meetings and will focus on four major cost drivers: pensions, the state Department of Human Services, debt and corrections, Grove said.
Similar efforts: The PennSAVE idea might sound a bit familiar, since Wolf is backing a similar effort.
The Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization and Efficiency, or Go-Time, found more than 200 initiatives that are expected to translate to $150 million in savings. Wolf's office on Monday launched a website outlining its efforts.
One of the efforts also allows people to track the location of state Department of Transportation plow trucks via a computer or mobile device.
Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township., has also been soliciting ideas from taxpayers on how to cut spending.
Though Grove and Wolf don't see eye-to-eye on every issue, they could make some inroads through their quests to cut government spending. But even there, Grove said, they don't agree on what to with the savings.
As part of his budget proposals, Wolf has pushed for tax increases to fill a structural deficit and increase funding for education. Republicans have argued the state should seek out cost-savings instead of raising taxes.
"Let's save money and not go back to the taxpayers and ask for more money," Grove said.
PennSAVE is asking residents to submit their ideas on how the state can cut spending and make government more efficient. To do so, go to repgrove.com and click on the "PennSAVE" banner.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.