State Rep. Mike Sturla

Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee




HDPC explores impact of state budget cuts in western PA


CONWAY, Aug. 3 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today held a public hearing at the Conway Volunteer Fire Department about state budget cuts, according to Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.


State Reps. Robert F. Matzie, D-Beaver, and Jaret Gibbons, D-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, requested the hearing and served as co-chairs. The hearing focused on the impact budget cuts are having on communities in western Pennsylvania as the Policy Committee evaluates what needs will be required for next year’s state budget.


Sturla said, "The Policy Committee has been to other regions of the state examining the impact of the state budget cuts and Beaver County is no different in feeling the effects of these harmful cuts. I commend Representatives Matzie and Gibbons for holding this hearing, so we can learn what needs to be restored in the 2012-2013 state budget.”


The budget cuts endured by local school districts in the 2011/12 state budget were inequitable and unnecessary,” Matzie said. “The budget that was passed without a single Democratic lawmaker’s vote because it doesn’t do enough to invest in Pennsylvania’s future and will likely have a negative effect on our state for a generation."


"As we heard today, this year’s state budget needlessly hurts the residents of western Pennsylvania,” Gibbons said. “Leaving more than $700 million in taxpayer funds in a government bank account while cutting services and programs for our youth, seniors and middle class homeowners is irresponsible and demonstrates poor leadership by the majority party at the Capitol."


Those testifying at the hearing included: Dr. Erv Weischedel, superintendent, Ambridge Area School District; David Wytiaz, superintendent, Aliquippa School District; Dr. Ron Sofo, superintendent, Freedom School District; Thomas Zelesnik, executive director, Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit; Lynn Foltz, Midwest/Region 2 director, PA School Boards Association; Tony Amadio, chairman, Beaver County Commissioners; Joe Spanik, commissioner, Beaver County; Bruce Simmeth, executive director, United Way; Jill Marsillio-Colonna, executive director, Women’s Center of Beaver County; Joe Cook, executive director, Mental Health Association in Beaver County.


For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit