Memo to Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly: Recommendations for the 2016-17 Budget
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
To: Governor Wolf and the members of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania
From: 33 concerned organizations
RE: Recommendations for the 2016-17 Budget
We, the undersigned organizations, are recommending the enactment of a 2016-17 budget that invests in Pennsylvania’s future.
We are advocacy organizations and service providers, educators and environmentalists, labor unions and local agencies and faith-based organizations. We serve and represent people in communities across the state. We are diverse in terms of our organizational concerns, missions, structures, and goals, but we are united in our appeal to you for the timely enactment of a responsible, forward-looking state budget.
The 2015-16 budget remains unfinished and incomplete. This needs to be addressed and resolved immediately. Critical programs and services remain at funding levels below where they were prior to the recession, and there are many others that have been under-funded for even longer. As the recent Independent Fiscal Office report shows, the state faces a severe structural deficit that threatens to bring additional credit downgrades and further cuts to crucial programs that educate our children and provide health care and services to the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Resolving the 2015-16 budget and enacting a responsible budget for 2016-17 requires raising additional revenue to close the structural deficit and make the necessary investments in the programs that benefit individual Pennsylvanians and the commonwealth as a whole.
The attached document (“A 2016-17 Budget for Pennsylvania’s Future”) recommends ways to raise the needed revenue in a fair manner and identifies particular programs that require additional investment. While not every organization listed below is advocating for every program in this document, we are all in agreement that Pennsylvania needs a responsible state budget that provides the resources needed for the goods we seek in common and which we cannot attain without government action.
Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)
Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
Education Voters Action Fund of Pennsylvania
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
Keystone Research Center
League of Women Voters Pennsylvania
Mental Health America of Westmoreland County
Mental Health Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability)
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Pennsylvania Coalition to End Homelessness
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Pennsylvania Food Banks
Philadelphia Education Fund
PRO-ACT (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together)
Resources for Human Development
Service Employees International Union Healthcare PA
Service Employees International Union, Local 668
Sierra Club PA Chapter
The Arc of Pennsylvania
The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1776
Women's Opportunities Resource Center