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Senator Hughes An informational update for you!

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This publication is your opportunity to receive regular updates on the work and the issues that I have been involved with, both in Harrisburg and throughout our community.

Please visit my website, where you will find a comprehensive overview of our work, various phone numbers and contact information to assist you in solving problems, opportunities to volunteer and assist us in our programs and opportunities to give your feedback.

Governor Corbett 2011-2012 Budget Proposal Balances Budget on the Backs of Working Families and Children

No Shared Sacrifice

Watch a video message from Sen. Hughes regarding Governor Corbett’s budget proposal.

It has been a difficult year with the many challenges we have all had to work through. High unemployment rates, mortgage foreclosures and so much more have made it hard for all of us to weather the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

It is especially difficult on hardworking Pennsylvanians who are feeling the brunt of a recession that they had no hand in creating. They did not cause this economic crisis, and yet they are feeling its most severe impacts.

On Tuesday, March 8, Governor Corbett delivered his budget address that unfortunately balances the budget on the backs of working families and children, while giving big business, big oil and big tobacco a pass.

There is no shared sacrifice, and it’s just unfair.

If the budget document is a reflection of a Governor’s priorities, then Governor Corbett’s priorities are woefully misplaced.

FUNDING CUT HIGHLIGHTS: 2011-12 Pennsylvania Budget 2011-12 Pennsylvania Budget

  • Governor Corbett’s budget proposal cuts $1.1 billion from basic education funding. These cuts will force widespread teacher layoffs and jeopardize education progress essential for our economic future. Furthermore, these cuts will result in dramatic local tax increases.

  • His proposal cuts funding for Penn State, Temple University, Lincoln University, the University of Pittsburgh, along with Cheyney University, West Chester University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the rest of the State System of Higher Education Universities by 50 percent. The total cut is almost three-fourths of a billion dollars. This draconian cut brings the funding to the same level it was in 1985, over 25 years ago.

  • The only way for these Universities to make up for this huge loss of state funds is to raise tuition increases by 20-25 percent. It will also probably mean laying off a significant number of employees, shutting down important academic programs, and also possibly even closing campuses. Furthermore, the dream of a college education will be out of reach for many hard-working families. For an analysis of the budget by the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, please click here.

  • In the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Governor has proposed eliminating the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) funding. This elimination would come at a time when foreclosures are happening all around us and individuals so desperately need this assistance.

  • In the Department of Public Welfare, the Governor has eliminated the Human Services Development Fund, whereby costing county and local governments $23.5 million. This reduction will have a significant impact on all 67 counties as it is used to provide a wide range of services at the county level.

  • The Governor has proposed eliminating targeted funding to acute care hospitals, trauma units, burn units, and neonatal and obstetric services.

In the midst of a fragile economic recovery, these cuts are a dangerous course. To make matters worse, the Governor is proposing to reduce services to people who are struggling to get by and yet, gives corporations extensive tax breaks.

Watch Senator Hughes deliver remarks about the budget on the Senate Floor.

In his budget proposal, there is an additional $200 million in corporate tax cuts. And he continues to give thousands of businesses a huge tax break by allowing them to have a corporate address in a Delaware PO Box, while they make millions doing business in PA.

Marcellus Shale drillers are laughing all the way to the bank. For another year, under Governor Corbett’s budget proposal, they get off again without having to pay the state, or the local community, any fees or assessments. Of the major 15 gas-drilling states, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not assess a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas. They provide no mandated support for the protection of our environment, no mandated support for fixing up the roads and infrastructure that their huge trucks destroy, and no support for investments in new energy systems that will surely be necessary when the shale runs out.

In the next few weeks, we will place this proposed spending plan under a public microscope. The good news is my colleagues and I will be reviewing this budget line by line for the next three weeks and encouraging significant changes.

I would encourage you to contact your Senator or Representative – or even the Governor – because time is very limited. If you want your voice heard, it needs to be NOW. Republican Leadership hopes to have this budget completed by Memorial Day.

You have my promise to continue to work for a fair budget and fight for working families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Offices of State Senator Vincent Hughes



4950 Parkside Avenue | Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 1913131
Phone: 215.879.7777
Fax: 215.879.7778

Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Phone: 717.787.7112
Fax: 717.772.0579