Senate Bill 850, which was passed by the Senate on May 6th, was a contentious bill even before the July 1 budget deadline. Among many other cuts, the bill completely eliminated the Industry Partnership program and cut funding for important programs such as Child Care Works, Head Start, and Pre-K Counts. While the bill did not make it out of the House Appropriations Committee in early June, it now appears that SB 850 will be the vehicle for upcoming changes, and will be voted on again in the Appropriations Committee on Monday.
Despite all the cuts included in SB 850, even more reductions - $1.7 billion worth - will be needed to balance the budget if no new revenue streams are added.
The programs whose funding is reduced or eliminated under SB 850 are too many to list – although these links will take you to cuts related to children and families. But the impact will certainly be felt.
- One Pennsylvania researcher has an article in The Patriot-News, which shows that mothers and newborns are among those most impacted by the proposed budget cuts.
- Another explains that “at a minimum this budget would result in 6,000 state employee layoffs, hospital closures, a more than a billion dollar cut in education funding, and higher local property taxes” which will result in even higher unemployment.