FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Michelle Brownlee
Brownlee hosts local House Policy Committee hearing on state budget cuts
PHILADELPHIA, MAY 15 – At a House Policy Committee hearing in her district, state Rep. Michelle Brownlee, D-Phila., said cuts in the 2012-13 state budget unfairly target children, the disabled, seniors and poor.
Brownlee, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, requested the hearing to call greater attention to policies she says are increasingly "big-business before people" under Corbett and Republican leadership.
"Every week it seems we're voting on a new proposal to help multi-million corporations pad their profits just a little more at the expense of our most vulnerable," Brownlee said. "The governor keeps saying we have no money, but he has no problem giving it away to his big-money friends. Quite frankly, it is disturbing to see how Republican leaders justify tax cuts for businesses, while cavalierly cutting critical programs for children, seniors and the poor.
"There will be shock waves felt from the policies of this administration for years to come," Brownlee said. "Their legacy will be shameful and I can only hope that we can highlight just how bad their priorities are for the public to fully understand."
Brownlee said public and higher education continue to be cut under Corbett's watch. She added that he has already decimated programs to assist and care for the disabled, and kicked 89,000 sick children off Medicaid rosters, making the process to re-enroll time-consuming and difficult.
"If the Commonwealth is in such dire financial straits that we have to resort to saving money on the disabled, sick children and our education system, then maybe we shouldn't have handed out billions of dollars in business tax breaks and let the gas industry off the hook," Brownlee added.
She said she will continue to push for a severance tax like every other state in the nation with drilling, and a tax on smokeless tobacco.
The hearing was held at the IBEW Local Union 98 Hall on Spring Garden Street. Others testifying included: Jerry Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; J. Bruce Hulick, executive director, the Arc of Philadelphia/PDDC; Joe Willard, vice president of policy, People’s Emergency Center; a panel from Maternity Care Coalition: Letty Thall, public policy director; Erin Cusack, community engagement coordinator; Tamicka Stephens, Cribs for Kids advocate; and Aisha Coulson, EHS family and community partnerships coordinator.