A People's Budget

A_people's_budget

The Pennsylvania Budget is a moral document between the government and its citizens. It makes a statement about what Pennsylvanians think is important.  For years, the Pennsylvania Assembly, lead by the GOP, has refused to create revenue for our state in a meaningful and responsible way.  As a result, our valued institutions -- education, libraries, environmental protection, support for our most vulnerable -- have been fighting for pieces of a shrinking pie.  The current version of this year's budget continues the problem, failing to protect citizens or the environment, and selling out Pennsylvania to big corporations.

The PA Assembly is not offering us a fair deal and we need to tell them so. Please send your legislators a letter explaining why they shouldn't vote for the budget in its current form. We have a ready to send email for you (click the Action link on the right), but if you need more information or would like to write your own please read below.

Here's what you can do to support a People's Budget:

1. Send one or both of the letters in the actions tab to let your legislators know how you feel about the budget in its current state.

2. Call your state reps and tell them that you will only support a budget that puts people and planet first:  While the Senate finally agreed to a severance tax on Marcellus Shale, the tax comes with a hefty price to the planet. The proposed tax would in essence, allow gas companies to regulate themselves and to pass the costs of the new tax onto the consumer. This is a bad deal for Pennsylvanians.  We are encouraging legislators, instead, to create recurring revenue for PA by passing SB 555 The Fair Share Tax and by finally closing the Delaware Loophole that allows many Pennsylvania companies to avoid paying taxes.  

Call Script:   "Hello, my name is ____, zip code____.   I'm calling about the budget.  I'm alarmed by, and strongly oppose, the stipulations in the revenue package that would allow the Natural Gas industry in Pennsylvania to regulate itself.  I also oppose moves to balance the budget through additional taxes on utility bills.  Instead of further taxes on everyday Pennsylvanians, I would like the Representative to support the measures outlined in SB 555 that would fix our upside-down tax system.  I would also like to see him/her work to close the Delaware Loophole. I would appreciate a reply from the representative on this topic.  Thank you."

3. Schedule a constituent visit to talk to your legislator about the budget crisis. Bring some folks with you! If your worried about not having enough info the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center can provide you with some talking points.
4. Write a letter or op-ed in your local paper. State Representatives pay a great deal attention to local papers. A short piece can make an enormous difference.


Other measures being addressed as part of the budget discussions and ways to support economic dignity in Pennsylvania:

Protect the health care of our most vulnerable citizens: ask your representative to OPPOSE HB 59 Raise premiums for Medicaid Recipients

Protect public education:

Ask your representative  to OPPOSE HB 97 Charter School “Reform”

Ask your representative to OPPOSE SB 76 Elimination of Property Tax

Protect Workers Rights: Raising the minimum wage in PA would create much needed revenue and boost the economy as a whole. SUPPORT HB 1520 / SB 12.