Skip to main content

With Minutes to Spare the Governor Signed the State Budget

Pennsylvania State Capitol Front PanoramaWith minutes left in the state fiscal year, Governor Corbett signed H.B. 1485, the spending plan for fiscal year 2011-12. The bill was approved by a vote of 30-20 in the Senate and 109-92 in the House.

While a deal on the budget had been reached earlier the Governor did not sign the bill until late Thursday because he was waiting for finalization of accompanying legislation, which included legislation rescinding exceptions to requiring school districts to obtain voter approval for raising property tax above a state-set inflation rate.

The budget spends a total of $27.15B, a 3.4% decrease from the current fiscal year spending level. This is the first-time since 1970 that the spending level is lower than the previous fiscal year.

The result is deep cuts in education, health, and human services. In addition, cuts were made in environmental programs, tourism and other crucial state services.

Key spending cuts include:
  • Education by a total of $863M - basic education by slightly over 7% and higher education by 18%.
  • Child care by 10%
  • Child welfare by 4%.
  • Behavioral health by 10%.
  • Housing Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) by over 80%.

For a complete list and analysis of the budget cuts click here.

At the same time that severe cuts are being made, there is no tax increase to generate additional revenue and a majority of the state's $650M revenue surplus is left on the table.

On a more personal note, these budget cuts hit home here at PathWays PA as some of the programs we provide are seeing a hit or are being cut all together. Our clients will not be able to receive the same level of services and in some cases entire programs, for example our adult literacy programs, have been cut. While we appreciate the need to have a balanced budget we are disappointed that it comes at the cost of forcing some of our clients that are working so hard to reach self-sufficiency to go without supports that allow them to work and/or to get an education. The “balanced budget” will have a very unbalanced result when it is enacted. PathWays PA will continue to serve all of our clients to the best of our abilities and work hard to reach those we can even with limited funding.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…