Friday, July 10, 2009

PA Budget Update: Take Action Before It’s Too Late

After much talk this week about temporary tax increases and cut-only budgets, a budget seems to be heading towards the light of day in the House chambers.

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.
If you haven’t spoken to your legislators yet about important state programs, if you haven’t signed on to this letter regarding the Industry Partnerships, if you haven’t expressed concerns about what budget cuts can do to children and families, the time to do so is now. During this recession, some budget cuts are inevitable. But too many cuts will lead to long-term impacts on our families, our health, and our economy at a time when we can’t afford to do without.

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