Let’s be optimistic and see what happens!
Budget vote set for Wednesday
It is no secret that Pennsylvania’s budget has been a mess for a while now.
- We have a $2.2B deficit.
- We have experienced credit downgrades over past 5 years, costing taxpayers tens of millions every year to pay for the higher cost of financing.
- Schools have experienced $1 billion in cuts, and many of these could become permanent if we don’t act!
- We have 20,000 fewer teachers in our schools, and our children have bigger class sizes and fewer programs than their brothers and sisters who came before them.
- Corporations still keep getting excessive tax breaks.
- We have no Marcellus Shale tax — drillers simply don’t pay their fair share.
On Wednesday, October 7, members of the PA House will have an opportunity to take a step toward a responsible budget when they are asked by their leadership to vote on a revenue package to fund this year’s state budget. What happens this year will impact the future of our schools. Without new revenues, PA will face a $2.28 billion (yes BILLION) deficit next year. That would mean that next year we could experience new cuts in school funding and human services.
Let’s be optimistic together! Let’s help try to break through. Click HERE to ask your state representative to support a responsible budget package.
It is worth noting that there is some political “chess” going on here. The vote is ONLY for the tax side of things, not the whole package, which would help explain what we get for what we are spending. Some people are saying that this is another ploy by House leaders to get rank and file lawmakers to take a “tax vote” without being able to show what they got for it. It probably is. But sometimes you have to take things at face value and just play it straight, so we need to ask all elected officials to help support reasonable revenues to pay for PA priorities, even if they have to cross party lines. It would be sad if this is another party-line vote.
Voters are tired of legislators who won’t cross party lines. We need lawmakers to have some courage and to represent regular people. We certainly don’t want to be more like Washington DC!
It is important that lawmakers support a reasonable revenue package to avoid financial disaster in the Commonwealth, to avoid MORE education and human service cuts this year, and to restore the programs and staff we have lost in schools. We need smaller class sizes, counselors, libraries and all the things our children deserve.
This is truly an “all hands on deck” moment. Please talk to your friends and neighbors and urge them to contact their state representatives today and ask them to turn their sights on the future, not stay in the past!
Thank you for your support of public education.