2012-01-12 / Letters

Action Needed To Maintain State-funded Health, Human Services

To The Editor:

I am alarmed by the Corbett Administration’s freeze on state funding for health and human services.

This “freeze” eliminates services to hurting people while our elected officials continue political gamesmanship and inaction on alternative solutions to a temporary shortfall.

This “crisis” flows from political and ideological tactics employed last spring as part of the budget deal. Revenue expectations for the year were spread more heavily over the first six months, instead of evenly over the entire 12, creating an early bleak picture of state finances as we head into the 2012- 2013 budget debate. The administration also agreed to a budget that relied on cost savings far in excess of what the budget secretary, whom I deeply respect, said could be achieved.

We are likely to end the year with a surplus for the second consecutive year. And we need it for the people in every Pennsylvania community who rely on a little support to continue working, caring for an elderly parent or escaping the devastating impacts of violence.

This is the fifth year of cuts to health and human services, at a time when more people need them. We cannot afford further tax cuts. I agree with Sen. Scarnati that solutions to the state’s problems exist, and they require compromise and action by everyone.

Pennsylvanians who need health and human services have already compromised greatly over the past decade of cutbacks. The legislature and governor should enact the revenue opportunities available and maintain the safety net of state-funded local services.

Peg Dierkers

Pennsylvania Coalition

Against Domestic Violence

Executive Director

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