HARRISBURG – State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Delaware/Montgomery) released a statement about Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget plan for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
“I am extremely disheartened by Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget. Yes, Pennsylvania is battling a financial hardship, but making drastic cuts to essential services like basic education and health care while providing tax breaks to corporations and refusing additional revenue sources is not the answer.
When families face hard times, they look for additional ways to increase their incomes and reduce spending where they can. They don’t deny their family members access to care and services they need, which is essentially what our governor is proposing for Pennsylvanians. Gov. Corbett said today that we need to balance the scales in order to build a better Commonwealth, but his proposed budget tips the scales in the favor of big business. I pledge to do all that I can to protect the interests of all Pennsylvanians and I aim to work with my fellow lawmakers to hash out a better plan that provides better benefits to all.”
The proposed $27.3 billion budget would set basic education funding levels back to those of 2008-09, cutting public school education spending by 8.8 percent and funding for higher education by more than 50 percent. The plan would also eliminate 1,500 state jobs, employees at state hospitals accounting for a third of that number. Medicaid benefits, including dental and pharmaceutical services, would also be reduced under the plan.
Leach added that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin holding public budget hearings next week, running through the end of the month. Under state law, the General Assembly must approve a budget plan by midnight on June 30.