Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued the following statement:
“The Legislature has adopted a budget that does less with more, cutting services to children while leaving most of a $650 million revenue surplus on the table.
“The budget reflects a set of priorities that few Pennsylvanians share. It reduces the number of teachers in the classroom, raises college tuition, and increases local property taxes in order to meet an artificial spending number.
“This budget provides tax breaks to businesses but cuts funding to homeless shelters and Meals on Wheels. It gives natural gas drillers a free pass, once again.
“Pennsylvania’s economy grew more quickly than the nation in 2010, but that growth has begun to stall. Cutting jobs and services will have a ripple effect through our communities that will make a robust recovery even harder to achieve.
“This budget fails to put people first. It continues a pattern in Harrisburg of balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable and shifting more state costs onto local taxpayers. That’s bad news for middle-class families, taxpayers and the economy.”
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.