FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Deberah L. Kula
Kula laments GOP budget cuts to schools, human services
HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Deberah Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland, described the 2012-13 state budget as sorely lacking in funds to aid school districts and programs that help the most needy, in House floor debate comments Tuesday.
“This budget continues placing public education and county human services on the chopping block,” said Kula. “It rips an even bigger hole in the state safety net for the sick, the young, the poor, the elderly. And it continues backing the state out of its obligation to adequately fund school districts, which pushes that tax burden downward onto local property owners.”
Kula recited the negative impact the current GOP budget has had on the Laurel Highlands, Connellsville, Uniontown, Mount Pleasant and Southmoreland school districts, citing specific examples of employee and teacher layoffs, tax increases, elimination of programs, and delay of textbook and equipment purchases.
Kula noted that in the two years of the Corbett administration, total state funding for local school districts has declined about 12 percent, which means a loss of $13.2 million in Fayette and $23 million in Westmoreland.
In the area of human services, Kula said the 2012-13 proposed state budget cuts $84 million, which has tremendously adverse consequences for those in need of mental health, intellectual disability, drug and alcohol treatment, homeless assistance and child welfare services.
“In Westmoreland County, Mental Health/Mental Retardation service providers are looking at a $1.3 million cut – 10 percent – in their contracts,” Kula said. “In Fayette County, the fund traditionally used for homeless support, aging services, drug and alcohol prevention, adult daycare services and mental health is proposed to be dumped into a block grant – with a 20 percent proposed cut.”
Anyone wishing to view Kula’s complete comments should visit her website at www.pahouse.com/Kula and click on the video link.