Snyder has mixed reactions to Corbett’s budget proposal
State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, said Tuesday Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget comes up short on several issues important to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“I realize this is just the start of a long budget process that should wrap up by June 30,” Snyder said. “However, I was dismayed by several issues and believe the spending blueprint needs much work before it is a responsible plan for Pennsylvania’s future.”
Snyder credited the governor for proposing fairer funding for human services.
“The people of Greene, Fayette and Washington counties have had enough of passing the buck to county and local government,” Snyder said. “However, I was extremely disappointed by the governor’s refusal to opt in on Medicaid expansion.”
Snyder said the governor’s rejection is a slap in the face to half a million medically underserved Pennsylvanians, and means Pennsylvania will lose out on billions of dollars in federal funds.
“By not expanding Medicaid – something five Republican governors have seen the wisdom of doing – the governor is risking the survival of our rural hospitals,” Snyder said. “I fear that his decision will cause great harm in Pennsylvania.”
Snyder said she was initially cheered by news that the governor was proposing an increase in the basic education subsidy to public schools.
“However, we are still reeling from the $1 billion cut to public education that the governor engineered two years ago,” Snyder said. “The governor’s proposal to add $90 million to basic education subsidies amounts to just one-tenth of the money he slashed previously from our public schools.
“We experienced local property tax increases throughout the region because of these cuts, and I fear that this paltry increase will only ramp up more pressure on local taxes.”
Snyder faulted the governor’s strategy of linking the privatization of Pennsylvania’s liquor system to short-term education funding.
“The governor criticized the use of one-and-done federal stimulus dollars for education, then turns around and proposes the same thing – a one-shot deal to grease the skids for his liquor-privatization scheme,” Snyder said. “We need a better, long-term fix for education funding.”
Snyder said she looks forward to budget hearings in the coming weeks to learn the full effects of the governor’s proposals and how they can be improved.
“The budget address marks the beginning, and we are not condemned to its many shortcomings and missteps,” said Snyder, who worked on many multi-million-dollar budgets as a Greene County commissioner. “It’s obvious, though, that it’s going to take a lot of work to make it something that will benefit Southwestern Pennsylvania and the entire commonwealth.”
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