Senate Budget Reflects Deep Concerns about Cuts But Doesn't Restore Enough of What PA Values

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Senate Budget Overview: Plan improves upon the Governor's budget, but deep cuts to education and health remain. Read more.

May 9, 2012

Co-chairs Stephen Drachler and Peg Dierkers issued the following statement on behalf of the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition on the state Senate's passage of a 2012-13 budget bill today:

"We applaud the Senate for advancing a budget that reflects Pennsylvanians' deep concerns about the cost of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed cuts, but this budget does not go far enough to restore the investments that citizens value.

It leaves in place half the cuts to county services for children, seniors and people who are receiving treatment. It eliminates General Assistance for 68,000 Pennsylvanians working to achieve independence. It leaves intact most of the cuts to public schools that have already led to the loss of 14,000 teachers and support personnel from the classrooms

The Senate budget leaves money on the table that is necessary for a sustainable funding plan. It keeps the sales tax vendor discount, a loophole even Governor Corbett wants to close, at a cost of $41 million that could be used for child care, health care or support for kids with autism. It continues the tax shift from state to counties. By moving forward with planned tax cuts for businesses and leaving open corporate tax loopholes, this plan allows companies to game the tax system with impunity at the same time it asks local taxpayers for more.

With the economy and revenue collections recovering, it is no longer necessary to inflict pain on schools, colleges and Pennsylvania's families and children. The Senate plan begins the process of restoring these investments in our communities, which are necessary for our economic growth and our children's future."