STATEMENT: On the PA Budget Spending Plan Passed by the House Appropriations Committee

Marc Stier |

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center director Marc Stier made the following statement after the PA House Appropriations Committee passed a budget spending plan:

“The House Republicans’ budget proposal released today is sadly, but not surprisingly, a disappointment for working-class and middle-class families.

“It includes no increase in the minimum wage even though every state around Pennsylvania has raised its minimum wage and found that the result has been not only higher wages but higher employment in low-wage occupations.

“It provides less funding for Basic Education than Governor Wolf proposed and diverts some of that request from public schools to the EITC program that supports unaccountable private schools that often cater to the richest Pennsylvanians.

“It does not fund the General Assistance program, which provides a minimal level of support to some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, many of whom are waiting to receive Social Security disability payments.

“In each of these cases, the House Republicans show contempt for the opinion of the majority of Pennsylvanians who oppose their priorities. Poll after poll shows that Pennsylvanians want to raise the minimum wage, fully fund our schools, and expand the social safety net.

“As we dig deeper, we hope to find some nuggets that suggest Republicans are proposing a budget that puts the needs of everyday Pennsylvanians first, as opposed to those of the rich and well-connected. But at first glance, there is little evidence of that.”