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Sen. Schwank Comments on State Budget Legislation
On June 30, 2012
HARRISBURG, June 30, 2012 — State Senator Judy Schwank said today that while the new state budget achieves an appropriate funding level, she voted against it because it fails to properly fund important programs and services.
“This is a pass-the-buck budget” said Schwank, “It pushes costs down to local government and counties and, ultimately, the taxpayer.”
But while she opposed the budget, Schwank said many of the budget related bills make important changes that she was pleased to vote for.
She noted, as an example, that additional funding will be provided to financially distressed school districts, including $3.7 million for Reading. To ensure the money is properly spent, the bill includes Schwank’s language requiring the distressed funding money allocated to Reading is subject to review by the Department of Education and the local Intermediate Unit. She also supported legislation that expands the Education Improvement Tax Credit.
Schwank said she also voted for an inheritance tax exemption on transfers of agricultural properties between family members, as well as to incubate new industries and thousands of new jobs in the state with tax credits to develop a natural gas cracker plant in western Pennsylvania.
“These are things we need to do,” she said, “but right now it’s as if our economic plan is nothing but Marcellus Shale, and that’s not enough.”
“We are a commonwealth of many job sectors. We need to take steps to help all of them.”