(HARRISBURG) – In an effort to prevent key community programs from shutting down, the state Senate tried to restore funding Governor Rendell cut from the state budget according to Senator Lisa Baker (R-20). Funding for mental retardation programs, food pantries, child care services, college grants and several other programs and services was considered.
“It is unfortunate that the governor cut so much program money from the budget sent to him,” said Baker. “His callous effort to gain political leverage is going to force the shutdown of important human service programs even though the funding is available to keep them operating while budget negotiations continue.”
As chair of the Veterans’ Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, Baker is particularly concerned about reinstating funding for veterans’ programs such as outreach services and assistance, educational assistance and disabled veterans’ transportation, which are in jeopardy as a result of the governor’s cuts.
“People cannot understand why these programs were vetoed despite these programs being funded at the level the governor recommended,” she said. “They are appalled to find that funding has been stopped by nothing more than politics.”
“At a time when so many Pennsylvanians are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should be doing all we can to honor the commitments made to those who protect our freedom,” Baker added. “This is our opportunity to do what is right for those who have served and for those who are serving. Our dedication, our respect, and our sense of obligation, need to match theirs.”
In addition to calling for restoration of funding for veterans’ programs, Baker also voted to reinstate funding for a number of core government services that have been left in limbo because of the budget impasse.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson