HARRISBURG, June 29, 2015 – State Senator Art Haywood released the following statement today regarding the Republican Senate and House budget proposal:
“In March, I raised the question: do we want to give ourselves a second-class future because we are unwilling to pay the price of responsibility? The Republican Senate and House responded with a last-minute budget, just before the 30 June deadline. The plan asks taxpayers to buy a future that’s far less than our Commonwealth deserves.
Here’s what we can expect if the Republican budget passes: Public schools will receive a measly $8 million statewide, barely chipping into the $500 million in education cuts that have left schools understaffed and unprepared to meet 21st century demands. Taxpayers are buying a future of high-school dropouts and unemployed adults who cannot compete nationally or globally. Elderly Pennsylvanians will see no relief from high property taxes. Taxpayers are buying a future of aging neighbors and family forced to move out of their homes. Low-wage workers will see no relief from the $7.25 per hour minimum wage – the lowest of all states surrounding Pennsylvania. Taxpayers are buying a future of work without dignity. This second-class future does not differ greatly from our painful present.
As taxpayers, we must ask ourselves: what kind of future are we willing to pay for? Pennsylvania deserves better than a second-class future. Unfortunately, with a majority in the House and Senate, Republicans can swiftly pass this plan. This last-minute Republican budget trap leaves no time for negotiation or compromise with the Governor or Democrats. Governor Wolf would be right to veto this plan and invest in our shared destiny.”
Contact: Melissa Ostroff