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:
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.
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