Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Special Budget Alert from PathWays PA: March 9, 2010

PathWays PA is pleased to bring you budget updates every Wednesday or as needed. Please check back at this Blog for up to the minute updates on the state budget.


STATE BUDGET UPDATE

Yesterday, Governor Corbett announced his budget proposal for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The overall message from the budget address was job creation and no new taxes – including not taxing the gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale.

Currently the deficit for the fiscal year is $4 billion, which includes the loss of federal stimulus funding, increased debt, and pension obligations. The Governor is calling for an overall spending of $27.331 billion, which represents an overall reduction of $866 million from the current budget.

The Governor’s spending plan includes $2.6 billion in cuts by eliminating 103 line items, reducing 154 line items and consolidating 55 line items. The budget proposal reduces general government operation costs by an average of 2.1 percent across the board.

Under the proposal:
  • Adult and Family Literacy will receive $12,413,000 (a cut of $2,474,000)
  • Industry Partnerships will receive 1,613,000 (a cut of $32,000)
  • Children’s Health Insurance will receive $97,365,000 (level funding from the previous year)
  • Community Colleges will receive $212,167,000 (a cut of 2,050,000). The proposal also fails to replace $21.5 million in ARRA funding.
  • The State System of Higher Education and four state-related universities see reductions of 50% or more.
  • Basic Education will see a reduction of nearly $550 million or a 10% cut.
  • Nurse Family Partnerships will receive $11,978,000 in funding (same funding level from the previous year)
  • Pre-K Counts will receive the $83,620,000 (a cut of $1,620,000)
  • Women’s Commission was zeroed out and it will be combined with the Latino Affairs, African-American, and Asian-American Commissions into the Office of Public Liaison which will receive $341,000 (an overall decrease of $437,000)
  • County Assistance Offices will receive $265 million, a 2% reduction.
  • New Directions, the TANF job training and support program, will receive $17 million, about a 50% reduction.
  • Rape crisis, domestic violence, homeless assistance, legal aid and breast cancer screenings were flat-funded at 2010-11 budgetary freeze levels.
  • Child Care Services for working families is flat-funded at $172 million, but the budget does not fully restore stimulus funding, creating a cut of about $14 million in total.
If you would like to see more funding for the above programs and others in the state budget, please contact your members of the General Assembly and urge them to support programs that support Pennsylvanians.

For more detail about other items in the budget, please visit the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center or attend an event listed below.

PHILADELPHIA BUDGET UPDATE

Last week, Mayor Michael Nutter delivered his proposed fiscal year 2012 city budget. His proposal would spend approximately $3.4 billion and includes no new taxes or fees. It would require $2.9 million in reductions and more than $34 million in new spending. The budget does not indicate what will happen if hundreds of millions of dollars of state or federal funding does not materialize.

The City is analyzing the state budget proposal to see what changes will have to be made with potential cuts to basic education, social services, and higher education.


PENNSYLVANIA BUDGET AND POLICY CENTER’S STATE BUDGET BRIEFING

For a detailed analysis of Governor Corbett’s proposed budge for fiscal year 2011-2012, join the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's Sharon Ward for one of the events listed below:

PA Budget and Policy Center Budget Conference, Harrisburg
WHEN: Monday, March 14, 9am-3:30pm, Harrisburg
Register today at: www.pennbpc.org

"Day of Reckoning" State Budget Briefing, Philadelphia with Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward
WHEN: Monday, March 21, 9:30 am
WHERE: United Way Building, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
Please RSVP to sepabudget@gmail.com or (215) 563-5848 x16

"Day of Reckoning" State Budget Briefing, Delaware County with Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward
Co-sponsored by PathWays PA, Family & Community Service of Delaware County, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition
WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 10:30am
WHERE: Media Borough Community Center, 301 N. Jackson St, Media

Please RSVP by Friday, March 18 by logging on to http://2011delcobudget.eventbrite.com or (610) 543-5022 x 255.


Below Are Some Specific Programs that Need Support:

Please contact your state legislator today and let then know how important these programs are to you and to Pennsylvania:

Adult Education and Family Literacy - Adult education and family literacy program are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to be or become self-sufficient.

Industry Partnerships - are consortiums that allow employers to improve and expand their workforce by bringing together companies committed to the development of their workforce.
  • This program provides workers with access to training that gives them the skills necessary to maintain jobs and obtain employment with sufficient wages so workers can adequately support their families.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 6,300 businesses are involved with more than 70 Industry Partnerships across the state. More than 70,000 workers have been trained since 2005.
  • On average, those workers have seen their wages rise by 6.62 percent within the first year after receiving the training.

Community CollegesCommunity Colleges are an integral part in the development of middle skills among Pennsylvania workers. At a time when access to good jobs and wages has become more important than ever, Pennsylvania needs to take action to ensure more students can afford and access community college education and the increased earning potential it provides.

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