Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Special Budget Alert - May 23, 2012

There is so much going on right now that we did not want to miss an opportunity to update you even on issues that are not budget related. Please see our recent blog posts on Ending Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Harrisburg Mar 5 2010 086State Budget Update

In early May, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a 2012-13 budget plan (SB 1466), spending about $500 million more than the Governor proposed. The House is expected to vote on SB 1466 the week of June 4th.

Yesterday the House Appropriates Committee passed SB 1466 out of committee. There is a spend ceiling of $27.6 billion and House members are asked to keep any amendments revenue neutral.

This has upset some members who are seeking amendments based on the findings of the Independent Fiscal Office that there is an additional $300 million the state has access to.

While the Committee would not increase the spend number, it was mentioned that there may be an opportunity to add additional funding on the House floor particularly depending on what is deposited in the Rainy Day Fund.

House members now have until the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29th to prepare “revenue neutral” budget amendments. The full House is expected to consider Senate Bill 1466 on Monday, June 4th.

If you would like to see a budget that takes a balanced approach contact your state legislators today. Ask them for a better budget for Pennsylvania that invests in much-needed programs!


A closer look at SB 1466:
  • Restores $4.1 million to Pre-k Counts;
  • Restores $1.9 million to Head Start;
  • Removes $8.7 million from Child Care beyond the $24.15 million in reductions in Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed FY 12-13 budget. Child care could lose nearly $33 million.
  • Adds $50 million to the Basic Education line for "distressed schools," although the allocation formula was not discussed. Basic Ed would increase to $5.405 billion;
  • Adds back $500,000 to New Choices/New Options.
  • Keeps the Human Services Block Grant but restores half the $168 million in cuts to county human services
  • Keeps the elimination of the General Assistance cash grant program for 68,000 Pennsylvanians.
Flag of PennsylvaniaUpdate on Other Issues Affecting the Budget

Besides the regular wheeling and dealing around the state budget, The Morning Call is reporting other fiscal news regarding unemployment compensation. In addition to owing $3.87 million to the federal government for unemployment, the unemployment trust fund is spending more than it is receiving. To fix this problem, legislators are considering a bill that would deny close to 50,000 people unemployment benefits.

Media PA Delco Courthouse SouthBudget Event: Delaware County Residents to Call on Lawmakers to Restore State Cuts to Schools, Preventative Services

Delaware County residents will call on state lawmakers to fully restore cuts proposed by the Governor to education, cost-effective local services and the General Assistance benefit for low-income people working to achieve independence. Several speakers will address how these cuts directly impact them, and legislators may be on hand to discuss how they are working to restore services.

WHAT: Press Conference with Delaware County residents to discuss impact of state budget cuts

WHEN: Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Front Steps of Delaware County Courthouse, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA 19063

SPEAKERS

  • Julie Schnepp, an Army veteran and Upper Darby resident who faced homelessness along with her young son when her husband succumbed to drug addiction and left them. Thanks to General Assistance, Julie was able to pay for food and transportation, and was able to find housing.
  • Colleen Kennedy, an active member of the “Save Upper Darby Arts” coalition
  • Marlena Williams, a young mother who found shelter for herself and her two young children in June 2011 with PathWays PA’s Center for Families. Marlena has since found a house for herself and her children. She also began a GED program, but due to a family illness and state budget cuts, she has been unable to finish the program and obtain her GED.
  • Emcee: Marianne Bellesorte, PathWays PA

Cosponsored by PathWays PA, Family and Community Service of Delaware County, and the Southeastern PA Budget Coalition.

Newspapers-20080928Editorials

Newspapers continue to be using their editorial pages to share views on the budget. Here are some more that have come to our inbox:

• Budget Does no Favors to Moms and Kids – Philadelphia Inquirer
Governor Corbett Must Realize Some Cuts Go Too Far – Patriot News
Republican Lawmaker: How Will we be Judged on Budget Cuts? – Patriot News

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