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Solobay: Budget Passes Responsibility Down the Line
On June 29, 2012
HARRISBURG – June 30, 2012 — Statement by Sen. Tim Solobay on today’s budget passage:
“I don’t have a problem making tough choices and voting for a tough budget that reflects a difficult economy.
But this budget simply dodges tough choices and responsibility – sending it down the line to local government, school boards, hospitals, and local agencies struggling to provide care for those who cannot care for themselves.
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My problem isn’t that the budget is tough. My problem is who it’s tough on.
Combined with the administration’s unilateral changes in how we provide services for seniors who are trying to stay in their homes, this budget is tough on the elderly, the sick and the poor.
It’s especially tough on someone who is all three – elderly, sick, and poor.
At the same time, this budget is good news for big corporations with slick accountants and a hundred mailboxes in Delaware.
Across the state there are workers making minimum wage or a little more, bathing and feeding mentally challenged adults in a group home. They get a budget cut.
I’ve seen staff and volunteers at senior centers pinching pennies and stretching the little bit of help they get as far as it will go. They are the target of ‘welfare reform.’
I don’t have any problem taking steps to make Pennsylvania more business friendly and I fully support the Governor’s aggressive recruitment of Shell Oil and other job creators.
We need encourage new jobs in a new economy, but those investments can be made without putting the cost on the people that created and supported our communities until they could no longer support themselves.
When we recognized the need to eliminate fraud and waste in our welfare system, I don’t think we were talking about moving frail senior citizens out of their homes and into nursing homes so we can keep an eye on them.
I commend my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who helped walk the governor back from his original proposal and I acknowledge that we have made progress as we moved from budget rhetoric to budget reality.
But I can’t go home and tell these senior citizens and social workers that they were ‘nice to haves,’ and not ‘need to haves.’”