Friday, July 24, 2009

Local advocates join to urge state legislators to vote against slashing our programs in the State Budget

A group of seven Just Harvest staff and interns joined PCRG, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Neighborhood Legal Services and The Housing Alliance on July 16th on a trip to Harrisburg and spoke out to our state legislators to oppose the proposed state budget cuts presented in SB 850 and HB 1416. So far, we haven’t seen a budget proposal we’re happy with—one that includes workable plans of raising revenue over slashing funds to our most important human service programs including: childcare, legal aid, libraries, the Department of Public Welfare and economic development.

Along with protesting these proposed cuts with our legislators and their aides, the group provided ideas for raising revenue, primarily endorsing the option of a temporary increase in the PIT (personal income tax). Although receptive in our dialogue, many legislators hesitated on acting on such a controversial issue—the demon of raising taxes. Reelection and party affiliation should be set aside in this matter; we elect our representatives to make these hard decisions, not to abandon leadership at a time when we need them the most.

Please join us in this fight—tell your elected officials you’re willing to pay (.68 cents a day) for the PIT increase. Otherwise, without a statewide PIT increase, we will be looking at increased local and property taxes in our near future.

TAKE ACTION: Call your state officials today and tell them we can’t balance the budget on cuts alone; we can’t balance the budget on the backs of poor people. To find your state legislators, visit: and type in your zip code.

For more information on how these cuts will affect us, check out the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's "30 Ways in 30 Days Service Cuts will hurt Pennsylvania" and browse the PBPC website for more interesting articles. For in depth analyses, visit the Keystone Research Center.

No comments: