The State House approved the budget for the fiscal year beginning tomorrow following Senate passage earlier this week. Gov. Corbett imposed a strict ceiling of $27.3 billion and refused to budge one penny. This is in spite of increasing revenues. Pennsylvania is currently sitting on a surplus of $700 million and another billion dollars would be available by the end of the fiscal year in July 2012. Those funds would completely restore K12 and higher education funding slashed in austerity moves.
Remember the austerity measures are the result of decreased revenues caused by the spectacular failure of Republican economic policies and deregulation of the financial sector. This budget is completely their responsibility. Major cutbacks to poor people, disabled persons and other areas constitute a wholesale neglect of vital services which needy people, young people and the elderly depend.
The refusal to restore huge cuts as it became obvious revenues were improving proves this isn’t about money. The funds are available. This is about ideology, about slashing critical funding for programs critical to Pennsylvania’s future. It is about taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves, of providing a safety net for the poor, a future for our children. It is about educating a workforce so the Commonwealth can attract good jobs in the future.
Mostly this about human decency. A budget is a Governor’s moral statement, it tells us what he deems important. Gov. Corbett is all about prisons.