|Rep. Michael K. Hanna, Sr.
76th Legislative District
Clinton and Centre counties
Hanna says Corbett budget falls short of what Pa. needs
HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Mike Hanna today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Corbett's 2013-14 state budget proposal.
"We’ve been waiting for more than two years to hear Governor Corbett’s plan for fixing our crumbling roads, bridges and transit systems. There was a lot of engine revving leading up to this announcement, but when it came time to step on the gas, he stalled out. All that buildup and what did we get? Half-measures and gimmicks.
"Governor Corbett’s gas tax fiasco is intended to appease Washington, D.C., lobbyist Grover Norquist, rather than solve this serious crisis. And make no mistake that’s what this is – a public safety and economic crisis.
"A modern transportation system will create and sustain thousands of jobs for Pennsylvania workers and enable businesses to remain competitive in the global economy. We had hoped to hear a bold vision for Pennsylvania’s future from Governor Corbett, but what we got was a bridge to nowhere that will leave Pennsylvania motorists and businesses stranded.
"Thanks to the governor’s inaction over the past 18 months, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding gap has grown from $3.5 billion to well over $4 billion. Governor Corbett’s gas tax fiasco falls far short of that need. It’s disappointing to see such low aspirations from this governor.
"Pennsylvania needs a long-term, reliable and comprehensive transportation plan to ensure our roads, bridges and transit systems are safe and reliable. Unfortunately, it’s clear that Governor Corbett either doesn’t understand the gravity of our transportation crisis, or he doesn’t have the will to do what it takes to fix it.
"His education proposal also falls short of what our students, teachers and schools need in order for Pennsylvania to remain competitive in the global economy. By underfunding education, Governor Corbett's budget will lead to continued increases in local school property taxes for middle-class families and retirees.
"He also is misguided and shortsighted in linking liquor privatization to education funding. Governor Corbett's booze for classrooms plan should face an early last call and not see the light of day in the General Assembly.
"His call for pension reform was met with a tepid response from even those in his own party. I'm not sure why the governor is offering the false choice of reduced pension benefits to state employees and school teachers who never shirked their responsibility of contributing to the pension system. Instead, we should let Act 120 of 2010 work its way out in the coming years.
"Finally, the governor's budget plan is off base regarding the commonwealth's top industry – agriculture. It is unconscionable for him to propose eliminating line-item funding for agricultural excellence; agriculture research; agriculture promotion, education and exports; hardwoods research and promotion; livestock show; open dairy show; food marketing and research and others," Hanna said.
Hanna said the governor's budget proposal will be the subject of upcoming public hearings before the House and Senate Appropriations committees.
The budget must be enacted before the commonwealth's new fiscal year begins July 1.