HARRISBURG, February 5, 2013 – State Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair, Vincent Hughes (D-Phila./Montgomery) today issued the following statement on Governor Tom Corbett’s 2013-14 budget proposal:

“With this budget proposal, Governor Corbett continues a tradition of moving Pennsylvania in the wrong direction. We’ve waited for leadership on key issues for three years and he’s never delivered, consistently moving PA in the wrong direction.

“Pennsylvania needs leadership on jobs, education, transportation and social safety net issues and we have failed to get it in three successive budgets.

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“We need a jobs initiative that will spur job creation and economic development. Pennsylvania ranks 34th in job creation, our unemployment rate is 7.9 percent and we have more than a half-million of our citizens out of work.

“What we need to focus on are the priorities of Pennsylvania’s working families – solid job creation, boosting Pennsylvania’s economy and making sure our children have access to quality education.

“Because of the governor’s education budget cuts over the past two years, nearly 70 percent of the school districts in PA have raised local property taxes and 75 percent have been forced to eliminate course offerings.

“Corporate profits are up at a record number and the Dow Jones has matched the high since before the Great Recession. Meanwhile, PA unemployment continues to rise and job creation continues to lag behind the national recovery.

“The pace of annual job growth in PA slowed to 38,700 jobs last year, while nationally job growth exceeded 2.1 million, its highest level since 2006.

“Unemployment in Pennsylvania has now been at or above the national average for several months after being below the national average for the prior 4 years. And still the Corbett budget lacks any long term plan to create jobs and grow our economy.

“The plan to sell liquor to fund education that the governor outlined is a non-starter and his pension reforms are set on a dubious legal foundation. Neither should be linked to education and the budget should not be balanced on savings from these proposals.

“The Senate Democrats remain dedicated to creating jobs. It is the top priority of Pennsylvania citizens, not where they will purchase their beer and wine. We must refocus our priorities to align with the many middle class families that are suffering, instead of the wealthy few the governor continues to appease.”

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Please visit State Senator Vincent Hughes on the web at www.senatorhughes.com, as well as @SenatorHughes (Twitter) and Senator Vincent Hughes (Facebook).