The CLEAR Coalition urges lawmakers to pass a responsible budget that supports our students and working families

The CLEAR Coalition today urged GOP leaders in both the Senate and House to stop playing political games and end the budget stalemate by working toward a compromise on a real budget that funds our schools and cleans up the state’s fiscal mess.

“This marks the third time that the Republican leadership has sent Governor Tom Wolf a sham budget just to score political points. The budget isn’t balanced. It does not go far enough to restore the devastating budget cuts to our public schools,” said David Fillman, Executive Director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13 and Chair of the CLEAR Coalition.

“This budget cuts funding for college students and it short-changes needy Pennsylvanians who rely on medical assistance. Each budget they send the governor is worse and worse for Pennsylvania’s working families,” said Tom Herman, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668.

Rather than address the state’s financial mess, the budget would lead to a $1.6 billion deficit and would – once again – force school districts to raise property taxes and reduce programs.

The CLEAR Coalition, representing more than 1 million Pennsylvanians, supports common sense ways to increase state revenue including a statewide tax on the Marcellus shale drillers; the closing of all corporate loopholes and the modernization of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

“Pennsylvanians deserve strong public schools that will provide every single child with access to a quality education,” said Kenneth Mash, President of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Facilities (APSCUF). “All Pennsylvanians should have access to higher education, but by cutting $40 million in grants from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), this budget will inevitably reduce access and further increase soaring student debt.”

“It’s just more of the same one-time gimmicks that got us into this mess to begin with,” added Herman.

For more information, please contact Rebecca McNichol, Executive Director of CLEAR, at 267-239-3399.