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Pa. Senate Dems propose $300 million immediate infusion for state education

By the Notebook on Jan 31, 2014 10:16 AM
Photo: Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia and other senators held a press conference at School District headquarters Thursday morning to present new methods to fund education.

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

A coalition of Pennsylvania Senate Democrats gathered at Philadelphia School District headquarters Thursday to propose 10 policy ideas that the lawmakers say would generate $1.1 billion for a variety of state budget line-items – including $300 million for education – without raising any broad-based taxes.

The group says the state can achieve these funding increases by finding savings in existing spending and generating additional revenue.

The largest savings, the coalition says, would come from Pennsylvania accepting the federal Medicaid expansion. By accepting that provision of the Affordable Care Act, the lawmakers anticipate a windfall that would release $400 million from other state budget line-items.

Other budget-cutting and revenue-raising options include modernizing (not privatizing) the state's wine and spirit stores ($125 million); ending the "pension double dip" for charter schools ($85 million); freezing the planned phaseout of capital stock and franchise taxes ($75 million); and implementing a tax on smokeless tobacco ($36 million).

"Pennsylvania needs to go in another direction," said  State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, before offering his own "State of the State."

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has climbed higher than the national average, he said, while private-sector job creation has dipped to 46th place. The state's credit rating has fallen twice in two years. And local property taxes have been on the rise statewide, he said.

Of the $300 million in additional education spending, the group proposes increases to the specific education budget line-items that have been slashed since Gov. Corbett took office. These include increases to the accountability block grant ($100 million), charter reimbursement ($85 million), tutoring ($50 million), early learning ($40 million), and special education ($25 million).

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Comments (11)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 31, 2014 3:34 pm
"budget-cutting and revenue-raising options include: modernizing (not privatizing) the state's wine and spirit stores ($125 million); ending the "pension double dip" for charter schools ($85 million); freezing the planned phaseout of capital stock and franchise taxes ($75 million); implementing a tax on smokeless tobacco ($36 million). Let's hear more about that pension double dip for the charter schools again thank you Linda K.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on January 31, 2014 4:12 pm
Yes, that double dip is a real surprise isn't it???????? RIGHT !!!! How maddening was it to see Obama pontificating once again the other night while doing NOTHING to help the people who voted him into office. He's got the gift of gab with nothing real following from it, just words, meaningless, mindless chatter. Mr. Obama, there's nobody left to lie to and only the dumbest of the dumbest of the dumb are falling for your vaudeville skit anymore.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2014 1:05 pm
Yeah, thanks, Obama! Clearly the shortcomings of PA's governor and legislature are directly attributable to the Federal Executive branch!
Submitted by tom-104 on February 2, 2014 3:54 pm
I hope your are kidding. They are all responsible and know what they are doing.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 31, 2014 6:33 pm
as dr.evil would say rigggggght.wheres that money coming from..lmfao....pipedreamers
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 1, 2014 9:01 am
What a joke. I love these ridiculous "assumptions" these politicians make. The expansion of Medicaid will only bring a one time infusion into state coffers. Then it will COST the state money. Sound familiar?
Submitted by Go-Eagles (not verified) on February 1, 2014 10:14 pm
Definitely sounds familiar to me to me Anonymous. Corbett is spot-on that Medicaid will end up costing us more down the road. The feds will screw us and we will get stuck with that bill. I'm glad Tommy isn't falling for it. Like Joe said above, it's pandering, more like begging, to the low information voter that elected these folks with D's after their names. Poof, money out of thin air. Good call Joe. You're spot-on.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 2, 2014 11:21 am
Go Eagles---The more you agree with me, the smarter you become. Peyton chokes today under pressure---"You know it, I know it and the American People know it," to paraphrase Walter Mondale.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on February 2, 2014 12:58 pm
Go Eagles--the more I read your blog, the more I question whether you're agreeing with me or taking a shot at me-------------------------Say it ain't so !!!!!! Say it, Say it !!!! The Seahawks will force Peyton into 3 picks and Denver will lose. Russell Wilson is a really cool kid with NO tatoos which I like. Actually, I got one about a million years ago where I shouldn't have. Not only ugly but creepy--youth is wasted on the young, Exhibit A.
Submitted by Go-Eagles (not verified) on February 2, 2014 2:38 pm
Let me be clear, I agree with your comments about Obama's SOTU. IMHO, his SOTU was lacking big time. I specifically listened to the democratic pundits after the speech. To paraphrase, it was style over substance. Duncan and him dreamed up Race to the Bottom er I mean Race to the Top. Now, it's about funding pre-k programs. Chang of tune? This type of "hope and change" should have happened 5 years ago. Hey, the dude's good with a teleprompter. Decades ago, the democratic party was for the little guy. It isn't like that anymore. They've come full circle. All the democrats want is your money. They will take it with a nice smile. What did the The Man say, watch for the wolves in sheep's skin. I'll trust a republican before I trust a democrat. Unlike other posters here on this blog, I've have seen through the charade. Sorry for the rant, I've been working long days for months. As for the big game, I will be rooting for Peyton and the Broncos. It's legacy time for Peyton to win a second Super Bowl. I predict that the Broncos will win this game. Russell Wilson play over the past few weeks has been sub-par. You have a nice day.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 2, 2014 9:42 am
The proposal is Fraud and lies through and through. From the lies about No broad based tax increases to the fraud about'investing' in the absurd state store system whose only real purpose is to launder tax money into Democrat campaign contributions.

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