Tartaglione Supports Better Budget Alternative
HARRISBURG, June 3, 2013 — State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione today joined her Democratic colleagues in support of a budget alternative that improves funding for schools, social services and job creation while holding the line on broad-based taxes.
“Governor Corbett and House Republicans want Pennsylvanians to believe that the weakest among us must continue to suffer in order to balance a budget,” Tartaglione said. “The plan we presented today shows that by properly aligning priorities and using strategies that work, we can grow our economy through targeted investment while balancing the budget.
Tartaglione said the Democratic plan includes $212 million more for education, $125 million more for job creation along with support for small cities facing economic distress.
Senate Democrats would use policy changes to produce a spending plan that overcomes budget challenges such as the estimated $360 million revenue deficit, caucus leaders said at a news conference today. Their budget alternative uses 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.
“This budget gives the administration a clear choice between favoring corporations or supporting the working families of Pennsylvania,” Tartaglione said. “It ends the false choices and the dire predictions of the far right wing and provides a shared-pain approach.”
At Tartaglione’s request, the plan nearly doubles funding for assistive technology devices that help get Pennsylvanians with disabilities back into the workforce and fully restores the New Choices/ New Options program, which helps train displaced homemakers for new careers.
Tartaglione said the plan also includes $9 million to train 300 State Troopers and $8 million to combat gang violence, illegal firearms and drugs. The proposal also includes $39 million in new funds for distressed schools, an additional $50 million for Accountability Block Grants and other classroom assistance for a total of $150 million plus $84 million for a Charter Development Program.