FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
House Democratic Policy Committee explores how NEPA affected by budget cuts
SCRANTON, Aug. 16 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing in Scranton today to examine the challenges that state budget cuts have created for northeastern Pennsylvania schools and human service agencies, committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said.
The hearing was requested and co-chaired by state Reps. Ken Smith and Kevin Murphy, both D-Lackawanna.
"This summer the Policy Committee has been exploring the impact that budget cuts have had on communities across the state. Today's testifiers added more perspective on how school districts as well as human services organizations in northeast Pennsylvania have managed the reduction in their appropriations," Sturla said. "Representatives Smith and Murphy have been strong advocates for their communities and I applaud them for continuing the budget dialogue with their residents."
"Today's testifiers painted a grim picture of the challenges they've encountered as a result of cuts in their allocations from the state," Smith said. "The state has an obligation to provide adequate funding for public education and programs for our most vulnerable residents. The 2011-12 budget is placing a heavy burden on local and county governments to meet the needs of our citizens."
Murphy added, "The budget that passed without a single Democratic vote in June is unconscionable. At a time when the governor called for 'shared sacrifice,' allowing big business and natural gas companies to escape without paying their fair share flies in the face of logic and disrespects the taxpayers across the Commonwealth and here in Scranton. Today's testifiers demonstrated what the cuts truly mean to Pennsylvanians."
Those testifying included Rosemary Boland, president, Scranton Federation of Teachers; Bill King, superintendent, Scranton School District; Mike Mahon, superintendent, Abington Heights School District; Joseph Surridge, business manager, Riverside School District; Alan Hall, school director, Blue Ridge School District; Don Broderick, executive director, ARC-NEPA; Sharon Quinn, manager, NEPA Center for Independent Living; and Michael Hanley, executive director, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern PA.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.