HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, released the following statement in response to the passage of the 2014-15 state budget:
"This budget is based on smoke and mirrors. The sources of income are simply not there. The administration based the budget on unsustainable, one-time revenue sources including fund transfers and administrative adjustments that will likely leave Pennsylvania in an even larger hole come January. I could not support the drastically irresponsible estimates and shortcomings.
"While increased education funding is being touted, we are still below the 2008-09 funding level. Let’s be clear, this number includes funding for mandatory costs including transportation, social security and pensions and hides the real impact to classroom funding, giving a false impression of investment. Furthermore, the funding ‘increases’ aren’t guaranteed to go to the school districts that need it most, like Reading. We have all felt the effects of rising property taxes as a result of the underfunding of our schools at the state level.
"At what point do we ask big business to pay their fair share and contribute instead of passing the responsibility on to the already strained middle class? House Democrats have proposed many ideas this legislative session that would improve the state’s fiscal condition. Unfortunately, the administration felt it more appropriate to reduce business taxes by $2.1 billion."