Press Release from Tom Corbet, Pennsylvania Governor
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett issued a statement in response to ongoing federal cuts from Washington impacting Pennsylvania’s education, health and welfare and other programs by nearly $220 million.
“As we look at finalizing this year’s budget, and into the future, Pennsylvania simply cannot afford to replace all the funds lost to federal sequestration. The cost to Pennsylvania’s taxpayers would be devastating,” Corbett said.
“This is another example of Washington promising its support, only to change direction and force Pennsylvania’s taxpayers to make up the difference.”
In education, the federal government has announced $75.6 million cuts across the state. Philadelphia School District, one of several financially struggling districts in the state, now faces a nearly $9 million decrease in federal funding.
Among the education cuts is a decrease of more than $22 million to special education.
The federal government, which originally promised to reimburse Pennsylvania 40 percent for special education funding, is currently only paying a mere 17 percent, less than half of its commitment. With the most recent information about federal sequestration, Washington will reduce that special education funding even further.
In health and human services, the federal sequestration is threatening a $1.2 million decrease to the Maternal Child Health Services Block Grant program, which provides community health nurses and newborn screening staff.
An additional $1.6 million in federal funds will be cut from the public health preparedness program which reduces resources for training, travel and supplies.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program can expect a reduction of at least $6 million affecting services for approximately 6,500 Pennsylvania women and children each month.
The sequestration will result in a $5.3 million reduction for community mental health and domestic violence services. Early intervention programs will experience $1 million in cuts.
“On the one hand, Washington is cutting federal resources to our human services programs, while on the other hand trying to convince the American people there is free money for a one-size-fits-all Medicaid expansion program,’’ Corbett said.
He expressed growing concern, based on the facts before him, that the federal government will be able to keep their promises.
“That’s why I am committed to reforming Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program to make it sustainable for the future,’’ Corbett said.
- Corbett officials on Medicaid: Corbett wants to expand, but Obama administration is too rigid (pennlive.com)
- Corbett hits homestretch on budget, rest of agenda (readingeagle.com)
- State cuts to education spur Philadelphia school budget crisis (tv.msnbc.com)