FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
State Rep. Michelle Brownlee
House Democratic Policy Committee examines proposed state budget cuts
PHILADELPHIA, May 15 – At a public hearing today in Philadelphia, members of the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from advocates for education, the disabled and children regarding the cuts Gov. Tom Corbett included in his 2012-13 budget proposal, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Michelle Brownlee, D-Phila., who requested the hearing, served as co-chairwoman. The hearing focused on the governor’s proposed 20 percent cut to programs for the disabled, and his near-billion-dollar recurring cut to basic education, which disproportionately impacts low-income school districts.
“As the budget debate is heating up in Harrisburg, the Policy Committee is still aiming to hear from the residents across the state that will see the negative impacts of the hazardous cuts in funding proposed by the Corbett administration,” Sturla said. “Representative Brownlee has been a strong advocate for her community at the Capitol and I thank her for bringing the committee here today.”
"Every week it seems we're voting on a new proposal to help multi-million-dollar corporations pad their profits just a little more at the expense of our most vulnerable," Brownlee said. "The governor keeps saying we have no money, but he has no problem giving it away to his big-money friends. Quite frankly, it is disturbing to see how Republican leaders justify tax cuts for businesses, while cavalierly cutting critical programs for children, seniors and the poor.
"There will be shock waves felt from the policies of this administration for years to come. Their legacy will be shameful and I can only hope that we can highlight just how bad their priorities are for the public to fully understand."
Those testifying at the hearing included: a panel from AFT Pennsylvania, including Jerry Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Bruce Rader, vice president, Temple Association of University Professionals; and Karen Schermerhorn, co-president emerita, Faculty & Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia; a panel from Maternity Care Coalition, including Letty Thall, public policy director; Erin Cusack, community engagement coordinator; Tamicka Stephens, Cribs for Kids advocate; and Aisha Coulson, EHS family and community partnerships coordinator. J. Bruce Hulick, executive director, The Arc of Philadelphia/PDDC; and Joe Willard, vice president of policy, People’s Emergency Center, also testified.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.