State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, the Democratic Whip, today issued the following statement on today’s passage of a 2012-13 state budget (Senate Bill 1466):
“There had been some fanfare about reversing a few of the draconian cuts to the budget, particularly along the lines of education. But whether you’re getting punched in the face or in the gut, you’re still being punched.
“Believe me – I’m all in favor of re-instituting more, in terms of what we lost. But rather than dying rapidly, we’ll be dying slowly under this budget, because restoring $517 million to a $26 billion budget is like a pimple on a butt in terms of real impact.
“If we’re helping college students, but we’re not doing the same for their little brothers and sisters, their parents, the disabled, vets, or anyone else struggling to gain access to the social services and jobs they need, what are we doing for the commonwealth? We’re not talking luxuries; these services help people survive. And we have not responded to them yet.
“I hope, really hope, that this is the start of budget negotiations, not the finish. I hope the dialogue can continue. Because right now, for too many people – and I don’t care where you live, if you’re in West Philadelphia or Westmoreland County – Pennsylvania is not a kind place. That’s what this budget, as of today, says.
“I am urging my colleagues to take a second look under the hood and see what we negotiated and who we negotiated with, because this budget is not in the best interest of all Pennsylvanians.”
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