WEST CHESTER (July 1) – State Senator Andy Dinniman on Tuesday called the budget passed by lawmakers “a true disappointment.”

“We had an opportunity to provide badly needed funds in education, to ease the pain of working individuals in poor health, and to protect the environment instead of exploiting it,” Dinniman said. “We had the chance to do all these things without one extra cent in taxes from Pennsylvanians and we missed it. That’s why I voted against this disappointing budget.”

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“This budget is built on bad decisions and wishful thinking that will have repercussions throughout the year in the form of higher school taxes for homeowners, poorer health for those in need,  and less resources and more harm to our parks and natural resources,” Dinniman added.

“Pennsylvania’s reluctance to assess a Marcellus shale tax and invest at least some of that funding in schools means we place more and more of the tax burden on local homeowners,” Dinniman said. “What makes this doubly insulting and painful is the fact that this administration has done nothing on property tax reform.”

“In terms of health care, this administration’s refusal to accept $400 million in Medicaid expansion dollars has obvious negative budget ramifications but even more importantly, negative health ramifications for 500,000 of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians without health care insurance – which include the working poor and thousands of military veterans,” Dinniman said. “This administration’s decision to instead hang its hopes on the federal government’s approval of its own program does nothing for a worker without health care and again means this passed budget is based on assumptions.”

“A final insult is this budget balances itself by first, transferring money out of the Keystone Fund that is supposed to go toward parks, trails, community green spaces and libraries and second, by opening state parks to fracking to generate $95 million,” Dinniman said. “In short, this administration’s strategy for our public natural resources seems to be, ‘Fund less, drill more.’”

For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s Office at 610-692-2112.

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