Legislation would save over $1 Billion to Restore Education Funding and More

Philadelphia – April 14, 2011 – State Sen. Lisa Boscola and fellow Senate Democrats today unveiled an alternative budget plan that would generate $1.14 billion in savings and restore funding for basic and higher education, safety net programs, mortgage assistance and other vital programs.

“This proposal restores many important programs and services while holding the line on taxes,” Boscola said.

Boscola said the Democratic plan is in response to Gov. Tom Corbett’s March budget proposal where he called for steep funding cuts to school districts and colleges, social service agencies, hospitals, health care programs and job creation initiatives.

Following the news conference, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a lengthy roundtable discussion on job training programs and economic initiatives with numerous labor, management and employment experts. Boscola chairs the committee.

The Senate Democratic plan would:

  • save $750 million from fiscal responsibility initiatives in Public Welfare, Corrections, procurement and by maximizing revenues;
  • save $290 million through a tax fairness initiative would place a moderate tax on gas drillers while freezing the governor’s other proposed corporate tax breaks; and
  • generate $100 million more by giving the state store system more procurement and marketing flexibility.

Boscola added that Senate Democrats have projected that the state’s year-end surplus will be $300 million – far higher than the $78 million projected by the Corbett Administration. She said a higher surplus could enable lawmakers to restore even more services and programs.

Boscola added that creating jobs remains the key to solving the state’s revenue and economic challenges. She and her fellow Senate Democrats have proposed a wide ranging jobs plan called “PA Works” that would create jobs, leverage private funds and generate economic investment.

“My fellow Democrats and I have offered many sound ideas on saving dollars and restoring important state investments,” Boscola said. “I hope Republicans will work with us and implement many of these proposals to save additional monies and limit cuts to educational programs and state government services.”

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