HARRISBURG, June 30, 2013 — State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione today voted against a Republican-backed budget plan that continues more than two years of economic backsliding and education failure.

“Pennsylvania has been sitting in the ditch watching the rest of the country drive past and the administration’s plan to get us moving is simply more of the same,” she said. “We’ve heard the same trite sound bites for two years but the facts are hard to ignore.  This cynical and political approach to budgeting is not working.”

Two years after cutting $1 billion from Pennsylvania’s schools, the budget passed by the Senate today restores a meager $130 million, while dozens of schools teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

“The plan to help Philadelphia schools will only serve to make sure that the schools will continue to operate on a razor’s edge for the foreseeable future,” Tartaglione said.  “We need real leadership to resolve crises, not preserve them,”

Tartaglione was among the supporters of an alternate budget plan that included $212 million more for education, $125 million more for job creation along with support for small cities facing economic distress.

When they offered the plan several weeks ago, Senate Democrats said it would use funds generated from liquor modernization, savings created by expanding Medicaid, and a one-year hold on the phase-out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax to produce the revenue needed to invest in the state’s economy.

Some senators have seen the wisdom of that plan and Medicaid expansion passed the Senate on Saturday, while the budget plan that passed also contains a freeze on the Capitol Stock and Franchise Tax.

At Tartaglione’s request, the plan nearly doubles funding for assistive technology devices that help get Pennsylvanians with disabilities back into the workforce.

Tartaglione said the plan also includes funding for three new classes of state troopers and increases for the state court system.

“As long as we keep ignoring our failing education system, we have to make sure we train new police and expand our court system,” Tartaglione said. “That’s the bottom line with this budget.”

 

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