FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Bryan Barbin
HARRISBURG, May 11 – Cambria County state Rep. Bryan Barbin today said he is urging Gov. Tom Corbett and Republicans in the legislature to use the state revenue surplus to restore proposed budget cuts.
"Revenue is coming in $500 million over estimate," Barbin said. "Instead of using the surplus to restore funding for public and higher education and social services programs and still maintain reasonable spending cuts, the House Republicans have proposed to stash $500 million in the Rainy Day Fund, increase funding for corrections by $180 million, and provide additional business tax cuts of $280 million.
"The legislation has made significant cuts but putting additional tax money into a Rainy Day Fund does more harm than good," Barbin said. "It's pouring in Pennsylvania right now – with our public schools, our universities and our health care safety net for seniors and the disabled all threatened with devastating cuts that could derail our economic recovery."
The state Department of Revenue recently reported that the state collected $506 million more in tax revenue than was originally projected.
"This new revenue proves the stimulus funding worked in Pennsylvania and will provide new funds in excess of $1 billion for the 2011-12 budget," Barbin said.
"It defies logic to make seniors pay more for health care, students pay more for tuition, or cause the middle class to pay additional local property tax hikes when the money is there to avoid the clear economic hardship on the middle class that this budget will create," Barbin said.
"Under the governor's proposal, school districts in Cambria County are expected to see a $13.5 million cut in state funding," Barbin said. "The House Republican proposal still cuts public education funds to our school districts by $9.7 million.
"When state funding to education goes down local property taxes go up. That is exactly what will happen if this budget is passed," Barbin said. "It is unconscionable to hurt our public school system, our public universities, our most vulnerable citizens, and local taxpayers while the governor and House Republicans hold on to $1 billion that could alleviate so much suffering that will otherwise be imposed on the middle class."