HARRISBURG- June 30th, 2014– Senator Vincent Hughes issued the following statement in response to the passage of HB 2328 by the Pennsylvania Senate:

“Today, in an effort to pass a budget bill before the start of the new fiscal year, Senate Republicans advanced a $29.1 billion spending plan to the House of Representatives. This budget bill, which will make it to Governor Corbett’s desk for his approval tonight, is both a sham and a farce; a obvious attempt at a spending plan which creates no sustainable revenues, and fails to appropriately fund schools, job creation, and human services. This is flim-flam sham budget does nothing but move Pennsylvania backwards.

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“The misguided spending plan is balanced using more than $2.5 billion in budget gimmicks, bloated revenue estimates, and one-time fund transfers. Rather than explore options for sustainable revenues such as a Marcellus Shale severance tax or Medicaid expansion, Governor Corbett and Pennsylvania Republicans have instead decided to implement budget tricks that will leave the Commonwealth with a structural deficit for 2015, and beyond. These revenue pillars are so shaky, that the General Assembly may be forced to return to make significant repairs to the spending plan early next year. Frankly, this budget is not worth the paper it will be printed on.

“Senate Republicans will praise the $300 million added to education in their spending plan, without mentioning that these funds are only a small step to restore the $1 billion cuts in education spending authored by the Governor throughout his tenure. As a result of this shortfall, local property taxes are likely to again increase throughout the state. Once again, because of Governor Corbett’s inability to take responsibility for poor budget decisions, local property taxpayers and school students will be forced to shoulder the burden of this spending plan.

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“After reviewing the budget passed by Senate Republicans today, it is clear to me that their only goal was to finish the budget on-time; without any concern about getting it right for the people of Pennsylvania. The passage of this spending plan is simply a failure, as it will only perpetuate the budget problems facing the Commonwealth, throughout the next fiscal year.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is also the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.