Wednesday, July 22, 2009
State Budget: Focus Shifts to Senate
Twice in the past week the Pennsylvania House rejected Senate proposals to cut $2 billion from the budget – mostly from programs for children and families. (For a list of children's programs threatened by Senate action click here.)
In contrast to Friday's decision, House members yesterday voted by a three to one margin to nix the latest Senate budget, basically a rehash of SB 850. That's all Democrats and half the Republicans in the House! Speaking afterward, Majority leader Todd Eachus said: let’s be clear…what binds us together are the children, the children in…pre-K programs, the children in our basic education system…and children’s health. (Click here to see press conference with House leaders and the Governor.)
Each of his colleagues echoed this point, underscoring the extent to which they are hearing from child advocates. Yet our job isn't over: the House and Senate budget bills will now go to a conference committee to work out a compromise.
While negotiations take place it is especially important to keep the pressure on Senators who can be persuaded to support a budget that’s good for kids. Yesterday’s House action demonstrated this is what the majority of Pennsylvanians want. If Senators hear from us in large numbers they will ask their leaders to modify positions.
If you live or work in Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Eastern Montgomery County it is crucial that you contact your Senator listed below. (If you aren’t sure who your Senator is, click here and enter your zip code in the lower left.)
Tell your Senator:
* Pass a budget that funds education, child care, children’s health and other services for children at the levels requested by the Governor; and
* Enact a modest, temporary tax increase to fund these services during the recession.
(Click here http://www.capwiz.com/pccy/issues/alert/?alertid=13772151&type=ST to send an email from PCCY's web site.)
If you don’t live or work in these counties here are three things you can do:
1) Forward this email to friends, colleagues and family members in these areas and ask them to contact their Senators;
2) Participate in a phone bank to residents of these counties. PCCY will host a phone bank all day Thursday. We’ll provide training, telephone lists and snacks. (If you’re interested but can’t make these times, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
3) Thank your Representative if he or she voted to protect children and families in this year’s budget. Urge them to hold their ground during negotiations this week. (Click here http://www.capwiz.com/pccy/issues/alert/?alertid=13772076&type=ST to send a letter from PCCY’s web site.)
We have an important opportunity to extend Pennsylvania's progress funding early childhood education, K-12 education and children’s health. Call your state Senator now and tell him or her you're ready to pay a little more so that kids and families in our state can have a better future!
Pileggi - Chester (part) and Delaware (part) Counties. (717) 787-4712
Erickson - Chester (part) and Delaware (part) Counties. (717) 787-1350
Greenleaf - Bucks (part) and Montgomery (part) Counties. (717) 787-6599
McIlhinney - Bucks (part) and Montgomery (part) Counties. (717) 787-7305
Rafferty - Berks (part), Chester (part) and Montgomery (part) Counties. (717) 787-1398
Tomlinson - Bucks (part) County. (717) 787-5072
Wonderling - Bucks (part), Lehigh (part), Montgomery (part) and Northampton (part) Counties (717) 787-3110