October 31, 2014

House Democrats want new policies, priorities for PA

Gov. Tom Corbett’s and Republicans’ control of the state House, Senate and governor’s mansion the past four years resulted in a litany of bad policies and a legacy of failure that hurt hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania families, senior citizens, businesses, children and others.

Gov. Corbett and Republicans hurt Pennsylvania’s economy by relying on one-time gimmicks and short-term revenues to create a structural budget deficit of nearly $1.7 billion. They failed to enact a natural gas extraction tax, close corporate tax loopholes, or scale back ineffective corporate tax cuts (these tax cuts now equal more than $2.1 billion under Corbett). Meanwhile, credit agencies continue to downgrade the state’s bond rating and Pennsylvania has fallen from 10th to dead last in the nation in job creation the past four years.

Gov. Corbett and Republicans hurt Pennsylvania schools by cutting nearly $1 billion in state funding, putting 27,000 teachers and other educators out of work, and forcing property tax increases across the state. Their failure to properly fund state-system and state-related universities also increased tuition and debt for college students and their families.

Gov. Corbett tried to sell the Pennsylvania Lottery to a foreign management company, and he and Republicans want tojettison the state’s liquor stores – which contribute more than $500 million in revenue for the state every year – with a one-time sale for much less than they are worth.

Gov. Corbett and Republicans turned control of the state’s environmental policy over to drillers and other companies whilefailing to develop energy responsibly or safeguard the health and quality of the state’s land, waterways and wildlife.

Finally, Gov. Corbett’s opposition to Medicaid Expansion delayed coverage for nearly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvaniansfor more than a year and has already cost the state more than $2 billion in federal funds. His refusal to set up a state health-care exchange under the Affordable Care Act could jeopardize affordable coverage for many more people and is costing Pennsylvania thousands of healthcare-related jobs and risking the survival of many hospitals.

House Democrats will renew their fight in 2015 for more responsible state budgets, good jobs with good pay, a fairer tax system, quality and affordable education for all, protection for our health and environment, and a fresh start with better results for Pennsylvania’s future.

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Poverty is more common in PA than many realize, but raising the minimum wage could help:philly.com/philly/20... #RaiseTheWagePA

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