Washington says state budget forsakes poor, elderly
HARRISBURG-- State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D- Montgomery/ Philadelphia) today voted against the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 state budget.
Citing deep cuts to vital programs for the poor and elderly in the wake of $375 million in tax incentives for businesses, and a budget surplus, Washington said that this budget is a cruel example of the Corbett Administration's misplaced priorities.
"With a projected $400 million year-end surplus, I refuse to believe that the Corbett Administration has no choice but to inflict this kind of pain on our children, our seniors, and the poor," Washington said.
The $27.656 billion spending plan includes $150 million in welfare cuts and elimination of the General Assistance grants program, ending benefits for 70,000 Pennsylvanians.
The budget also slashes $84 million from the county human services fund, and makes deep cuts to child care assistance, mental health services, and community-based home care initiatives for seniors.
"In difficult economic times, these assistance programs serve as the critically-needed hand up that allows families to get back on their feet, and I am appalled that they have been slashed so cruelly," Washington continued.
Washington also noted that this budget neglects the needs of seniors, many of whom rely on Area Agencies on Aging for their health care needs. She stressed that the regulation changes and cuts made to these services will cause seniors and their families great confusion as they attempt to navigate the world of elderly health care.
"This budget only serves to illustrate how the governor has forsaken disadvantaged Pennsylvanians, instead favoring tax breaks for energy companies and big businesses," Washington concluded.
"I was able to lift myself out of hard times thanks to the very programs that were cut, and my heart breaks for those who will be left behind by this administration's disregard for those who need government the most."
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