The deadline to pass a state budget for Pennsylvania has come and gone and thanks to cynical and dishonest move by out-of-touch leaders in the House and Senate, we are no closer to a balanced budget for our state.
The budget put forward by the House and Senate not only continued the failed policies of the Corbett Administration, but was inadequate for the needs of the majority of working Pennsylvanians. Their budget left our schools underfunded and continued to put the wants of corporations ahead of the needs of working families. When that budget came to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk, he did the only thing he could do — he vetoed it.
“I ran a business,” wrote Gov. Wolf. “And if I took a proposal like this to my bank, they would have thrown me out for presenting a budget that doesn’t add up and doesn’t generate growth.”
Throughout the budget negotiations, Gov. Wolf has strived to work with conservatives, making concessions and keeping an open mind. In return, those leaders dug in to their partisan line and said no to every proposal the Governor offered to fix our schools, provide property tax relief and fix the structural problems with our deficit. Gov. Wolf’s own proposed budget funds our schools the way they should be, makes gas drillers pay their fair share and reduces property taxes for the middle class.
Last week as the budget deadline neared, we joined with a coalition of community groups and other unions under the banner of Good Jobs, Healthy Communities and travelled to the Capitol in Harrisburg to advocate for that budget.
The group spent the week occupying the steps of the Capitol, visiting legislators, marching on special interest who were standing in the way of a fair budget, and letting our leaders and the Governor know that we would stand strong until we got the fair budget that Pennsylvania needs and deserves.
At the end of the week, legislators returned home to their districts for the holiday weekend and occupiers made the decision to break camp and return home as well to renew the fight in our communities and mobilize more citizens to stand up for what’s right.
In the coming week, we’ll do just that – visiting our legislators in their home offices to let them know that we won’t back down from this fight. We will continue to stand up for a fair budget until we get one. Because we know that when we fight, we win.