FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl
Ravenstahl votes no on pass-the-buck budget that cuts education,
services to seniors
HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl today voted no on the state budget because it turns back the clock on education, harms seniors, increases taxes for homeowners and costs thousands of jobs.
Ravenstahl said these drastic cuts are coming as Republicans sit on a surplus expected to reach $700 million at the end of the fiscal year on Friday, and natural gas companies are given a free pass.
"It's inexcusable not to use at least a portion of the surplus to ease these cuts to basic and higher education," Ravenstahl said. "Republicans gave big business and big oil and natural gas companies a tax break while their budget forces working, middle-class families to pay higher taxes, tuition and health care."
While Republicans have stashed $700 million in taxpayer money, they have cut more than $1.2 billion in basic and higher education funding and half a billion dollars from health care and other services for senior citizens, the disabled, cancer and other patients, women and children, and veterans.
"These cuts will force school districts in Allegheny County and the rest of the state to increase taxes," he said. "Calling this a no-tax budget is not accurate. It's a pass-the-buck budget."
The budget cuts will result in more than 11,000 teachers and additional school staff across the state losing their jobs. The budget also slashes funding for community colleges, state-system and state-related universities, including Pitt, by $200 million.
Ravenstahl said Marcellus Shale drillers are getting a free pass in the budget because they aren't being asked to provide any share of the huge revenues they are taking out of Pennsylvania.
"Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation with significant natural gas production that does not have a drilling tax or fee in place," Ravenstahl said. "That's not fair when so many working-class families are being asked to make sacrifices."