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STATE BUDGET UPDATE: MAY 12, 2011
PA House Republicans Roll Out Budget
And While Pennsylvania Reports a Current Year Budget Surplus of $506 Million,
Budget Secretary Wants to Put the Money in the State Rainy Day Fund and Not Fund Education, Jobs, and Health care
On May 10, 2011 the House Republicans unveiled their budget proposal. But like Governor Corbett's plan, their budget fails Pennsylvanians. It pits working class individuals against one another - restoring some funding to Education while taking money from the Department of Welfare.
A closer look reveals that House Republicans still cut basic education by $900 million, higher education by $300 million and community colleges by 10 percent. It takes an additional $50 million away from the Department of Community and Economic Development. Governor Corbett had already reduced DCED by $100 million. This same agency, which is vital to job creation programs, has already been operating with a fraction of the funding it had two years ago.
All of this is done once again without taxing Marcellus Shale or making large corporations in Pennsylvania pay their fair share. Furthermore, there is not one mention of the current surplus we are sitting on.
Last week, the State Department of Revenue reported that state tax collections brought in $506 million in surplus for the state as of the end of April. This is a $428 million increase over what the administration predicted. Additionally, history shows that the state revenue for May and June will also increase. All of this means that PA has additional dollars to work with and that the cuts that Gov. Corbett has proposed, do not have to occur.
While we say that PA's people should be put first in the budget making process, the administration leaders say that the extra dollars should be put in PA's rainy day fund, along with providing major tax breaks for PA's big businesses and again giving the Marcellus Shale drillers a no-tax pass.
We think that these are mis-placed priorities.
Sen. Hughes and the Senate Democrats have an Alternative that PUTS THE PEOPLE FIRST!
PUT THE PEOPLE FIRST AND STOP THE CUTS!
|Governor Corbett's budget proposal would cut $1.1 billion from basic education. Investments during the last decade have made Pennsylvania the only state in the nation where test scores have gone up at every grade level and in every subject matter. Why would we ever want to reverse this progress? Pennsylvania needs to continue investing in education.
After six weeks of intense work, the Senate Democrats
have come up with another way to balance the state
budget. Under our plan, we can continue to create jobs,
restore money to educate our children and keep much
needed health care services.
On March 8, 2011, the Governor proposed a budget for Pennsylvania that would make massive cuts in education for our school children, force huge tuition increases for our college students and cut vital health care and job creation programs in order to balance the state budget. He also proposed
massive tax breaks for the largest corporations in the state.
Basically, he balanced the state budget on the backs of working families and children while giving the largest companies in Pennsylvania a tax giveaway.
that there is a
budget crisis in
you can't make
working people the
only individuals to
foot the bill
Everyone knows that there is a budget crisis in Pennsylvania, but you can't make working
people the only individuals to foot the bill. They are not the ones who caused this problem and they should not be the only people who sacrifice to fix the problem.
After 80 hours of budget hearings, intense review and grilling of all of the cabinet secretaries,
and after researching the work of other states, we have come up with a proposal that balances the state budget and restores much needed investments and services.
DETAILS OF THE PLAN
|Senator Hughes encourages constituents to call all of their elected officials and the Governor, and let them know of the concerns with the budget. We can do more, if we work together, and have our priorities in the right order.
In an effort to ensure Pennsylvanians are made aware of the budget cuts, as well as the Senate
Democratic Budget Savings Plan, Senator Hughes has done various media interviews and hearings throughout the state.
TAX FAIRNESS: Gov. Corbett’s Proposed Corporate Tax Breaks
Governor Corbett proposes to provide over $320 million in tax breaks to Pennsylvania's major corporations. It is not fair to cut massive funding out of education, job creation programs
and health care services, while at the same time provide for these kinds of tax breaks. While we all want to lessen the tax burden on our business community, now is not the time. Gov. Corbett also wants to continue to give the Marcellus Shale drilling industry a pass on paying any taxes or fees.
Again, you can't cut state money to school kids, which means local property taxes will have to increase, and at the same time, let this multi-billion dollar industry off the hook.
BUDGET SAVINGS, NOT BUDGET CUTS:
Make Pennsylvania Work Smarter
We believe that by strengthening proven programs in the Department of Public Welfare, combining programs in the Department of Corrections and improving programs in the Department of General Services, we can save over $700 million in state spending. All of this can happen without eliminating vital services, which are even more necessary in this time of economic recession.
|By making the state
run smarter, and
more efficiently, we
can find the dollars
necessary to protect
who are struggling
to make ends meet.
COUNT THE CURRENT MONEY CORRECTLY
The Governor believes that there will only be $78 million in the current surplus. The Senate Democrats believe that the surplus in this year's budget will be over $400 million. That's existing money that can go to fix the budget problem.
PUTTING PA’S PEOPLE FIRST
With the above alternatives to the Governor’s plan, Senate Democrats believe that we can begin to restore the cuts to basic education, put money back for our college students to avoid dramatic tuition increases, fund our important job creation programs and provide for necessary health care services, including the important adultBasic health insurance program. We can also fund the critical home foreclosure prevention program, HEMAP, which thousands of Pennsylvania families have utilized to keep from losing their home.
Let the Governor know that there is
and that he has to
PUT THE PEOPLE FIRST
Offices of State
Senator Vincent Hughes