Maybe if PA lawmakers hadn’t sat on their duffs for half the year only to scramble now like a high schooler pulling an all-nighter to finish a term paper, we’d have a state budget that reflects the needs and values of the people who make up the Commonwealth rather than the uninspired opus that came out of Harrisburg yesterday. (And yes-I have it on good but anonymous authority that this is exactly how the current majority in our State House is running the show. Our tax dollars at “work”, folks.)
Unfortunately the most succinct way to analyze the $34 million budget that’s been proposed by the House Appropriations Committee is to enumerate what it doesn’t include, and there are some biggies! Here we go:
What is included will also make your heart sink.
Pennsylvania sits in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic States. We rank in the middle on healthcare, fiscal stability, and the Opportunity Index. It seems our state is mired in mediocrity, and the proposed budget certainly reflects that. We get no better than what we settle for. I don’t know if Rep. Peter Schweyer (D - PA 22) intended to capture the spirit of resignation and unimaginativeness emanating from the Capitol, but his tweet sums up the general attitude:
Given to optimism? Not to make light of them, but here are a few bones legislators did throw at us:
The full House will take up the budget debate today. Then it moves to the Senate for consideration on Thursday. Call me Debbie Downer, but expect no more than more of the same. We have two options at this point: 1. Continue to pressure legislators with calls, emails, and office visits. 2. Vote!
posted by Amy Levengood
The IndivisiBlog is a series of in-depth articles on the issues that matter. Read, comment, share, and take action.
Click here for the archives.