ABOVE PHOTO: State Rep. Rosita C. Young-blood, D-P.
HARRISBURG– State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., this week said the state budget proposal outlined by Gov. Tom Corbett in his speech to the Legislature Tuesday reflected a vision that will place the burden of Pennsylvania’s economic troubles squarely on the shoulders of working families and children who want a quality education.
Youngblood said the budget proposal follows a national political blueprint based on an ideology that continues to stretch the middle class while rewarding wealthy companies with tax breaks and corporate giveaways.
“This budget proposal continues to cut public education funding and slashes higher education by an additional 30 percent,” Youngblood said. “These cuts are a direct hit on middle class families who are trying to make ends meet and secure a quality education for their children. Tuition hikes will only increase the burden on our citizens who are tirelessly working to provide a future for themselves and their children.”
Youngblood added that this budget plan not only makes it harder for families to send their kids to college, it also strips $100 million from the Accountability Block Grant program, which pays for early education and tutoring programs. She said this program is proven effective in preparing Pennsylvania’s youngest students for a lifetime of learning.
“After nearly a decade of educational improvement through targeted investments, this budget proposal will set Pennsylvania back at the expense of our children,” she said. “How are we to build a workforce and improve our job market if we fail to adequately fund primary, secondary and higher education? This budget is not a budget that promotes future job creation.
“And to say that this budget has no tax increases built into it is a sham,” she said. “The massive cuts to public schools last year resulted in local property tax hikes in school districts all across Pennsylvania. With this budget proposal, we are guaranteeing another round of property tax hikes for our struggling homeowners.”
In addition to slashing education funding, this budget plan would suck another $700 million in critical health and safety programs that help women, children, seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities. Youngblood said cuts to these proven programs that help many of her constituents will only widen the gap for those who are simply trying to make ends meet.
“I can’t fathom the reason why the governor is selling the people of Pennsylvania so short,” she added. “We have revenues sitting on the table to help fund education, help keep tuition costs at bay and help vulnerable citizens make ends meet. As the process moves forward, I will continue to fight for my constituents and make sure their voices will be heard.”