Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Local pols weigh in on state budget

            The Pennsylvania Senate approved a $27.7 billion budget deal Wednesday that restored some of the funding cuts that were proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.
            The GOP-penned plan was approved in a 39-8 vote. The deal now goes to the state House for consideration.
            The two Republican senators from Delaware County – Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, and Sen. Ted Erickson, R-26, of Newtown – voted in favor of the plan.
            Two Democrats who represent portions of Delaware County – Sen. Anthony Williams, D-8, of Philadelphia, and Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion – voted against the plan.
            Here is what some of the local pols are saying:

“This year, since the governor’s budget proposal on Feb. 7, state revenues have been improving. For three consecutive months – February, March and April – tax collections were above the official estimate. That’s good news, because it allows us to make some important budget restorations. However, we must remember that the state will still end this year with a revenue shortfall.
“The focus of the spending plan contained in Senate Bill 1466 is using the additional revenues not to increase funding for programs, but to maintain spending at the current level and to avoid a reduction in funding to critical programs. This plan does not create a single new program, and it does not raise a single tax. In fact, it continues the reduction of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
 “This is a responsible, sustainable state budget.”
            “While some of the funding restorations were a step in the right direction, the budget as a whole is still inadequate when it comes to meeting basic human needs. A recession is not the time to abandon our role in educating Pennsylvania’s students, ensuring access to health care and providing a social safety net.”

“I hope, really hope, that this is the start of budget negotiations, not the finish. I hope the dialogue can continue. Because right now, for too many people – and I don’t care where you live, if you’re in West Philadelphia or Westmoreland CountyPennsylvania is not a kind place. That’s what this budget, as of today, says.
“I am urging my colleagues to take a second look under the hood and see what we negotiated and who we negotiated with, because this budget is not in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians.”


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