FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Carroll
Carroll: 'No' vote on budget that ignores available funds
for education, programs
HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Luzerne/Monroe, today released the following statement after the House of Representatives approved a $27.149 billion state budget bill for the 2011-12 fiscal year:
"Throughout the entire budget debate I have been baffled by the insistence of Governor Corbett and Republicans to embrace a budget blueprint that refuses to consider allocating a portion of additional 2010-11 tax revenues which to date exceed $600 million.
"This budget is unnecessarily harsh, especially because we have these excess revenues that could be used to restore painful cuts to education and human services.
"To simply bank all the additional revenues above the estimate for the current year ignores the reality of our responsibility to support a range of state programs that will be transmitted to county and local governments and area school districts throughout Pennsylvania and result in higher local taxes for residents.
"Two of our local school districts will feel the pain of this budget, which slashes nearly $1 billion in funding for public schools – the largest in Pennsylvania's history. Pittston Area will receive $1.26 million less in total education funding, a 12.3 percent cut, while Wilkes-Barre Area will see a $3.87 million decrease, or 14.1 percent decrease.
"Without utilizing a portion of the additional revenues or considering potential new sources of revenue, such as a natural gas extraction tax, this budget does not reflect my priorities for our region or state."