what do you value

Click below to see whether Governor Corbett's budget reflects your values.

Gov Corbett and Jobs

Gov Corbett and Jobs

Governor Corbett's budget:

Maintains or deepens the cuts to education, health, and public assistance that resulted in 21,000 public-sector jobs lost last year.

Under Governor Corbett's budget-slashing, Pennsylvania has gone from one of the top 10 states in the nation for job growth, to one of the bottom 10 in the nation.

A People's Budget for PA:

  • Fully funds education, health, and public assistance to avoid more mass lay-offs of school nurses, teachers, nursing home workers, people who work for veterans, etc.
  • Stimulates the economy through infrastructure development and building schools and hospitals, not building more prisons.

Gov Corbett and Justice

Gov Corbett and Justice

Governor Corbett's budget:

Includes a $1.8 billion operating budget for the Department of Corrections. Since 1980, prison spending in Pennsylvania has grown by 1,882 percent, rising six times faster than state spending on basic education. This year's proposed prison budget spends twice as much on prisons as it does on higher education.

His budget also continues to fund the massive $685 million prison expansion. This money is being used to build three new state prisons and expand nine others.

This comes at the same time that he is cutting funds for the things that keep people out of prison, such as education, healthcare, and social services.

A People's Budget for PA:

Believes that more prisons will not make our communities safer or healthier. Smart investment in community institutions and infrastructure makes us healthier and safer. Public money should go toward public goods: quality public schools, stable housing, jobs and job training programs, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, community-based reentry services, and non-punitive programs that address the root causes of violence in our communities.

Gov Corbett and Education

Gov Corbett and Education

Governor Corbett's budget:

Last year, Governor Corbett slashed state education spending by $1 billion. Compounding the decades of disinvestment in Philly Public Schools, these budget cuts meant a $629 million shortfall in the School District of Philadelphia, resulting in massive layoffs, program cuts, increased class size, and fewer resources in our schools. His proposed budget would slash our already-strained District with an additional $21 million in cuts for next year. Due to this underfunding, the School Reform Commission, led by Corbett-appointee Pedro Ramos, is proposing to close 64 schools in the next 5 years and hand off many of our public schools to private management companies. 

Check out this site -- put together by the Pennsylvania State Education Association -- to see the impact of Corbett's budget on our kids' schools.

A People's Budget for PA:

Quality public education is a human right that all children, regardless of their local property taxes, deserve. Corbett's predecessor, Governor Rendell, worked alongside communities across the state to demand that Pennsylvania change the funding formula to better meet students' and communities' actual education needs. The 2008 Costing Out study showed that Philadelphia has been historically underfunded and deserves $1 billion in additional funds to adequately educate our city's children.

Instead of setting up an economic "crisis" where our public schools get closed or privatized, we demand that the necessary resources go into building up schools that work for students, families, teachers, and communities.

Gov Corbett and Health

Gov Corbett and Fairness

Gov Corbett and Fairness

Governor Corbett's budget:

Claims to be a "no new taxes" budget. But cities and counties across Pennsylvania are being forced to raise property taxes and fees to keep their schools open.

Governor Corbett claims to be worried about fraud and dependence, and uses that to justify drug testing for people receiving public assistance, automatically kicking people off of state aid and making them jump through hoops to get the money they are entitled to, and cutting assistance programs. But he has a double-standard when it comes to corporations that avoid paying their fair share and claim hardship due to the recession. Why isn't he worried about the natural gas industy's dependence on tax rebates? Or the shady accounting practices of businesses exploiting the "Delaware loophole"?

A People's Budget for PA:

Is honest about taxes. If the state needs to raise revenue to avoid massive layoffs, a people's budget asks everyone to pay their share. That means everyone, including the natural gas and oil industries and the corporations making record profits even during the recession.

Gov Corbett and Second Chances

Gov Corbett and Second Chances

Governor Corbett's Budget:

Governor Corbett doesn't believe in second chances. He has continued the punitive policies that send people to prison and keep them there as long as possible. This has led to skyrocketing incarceration rates and massive spending on prison construction and operations. These policies are both immoral and expensive. They break apart communities and divert money away from schools and services and into the prison system. 

Eliminating General Assistance means no more second chances for Pennsylvanians trying to leave domestic violence situations, get into drug or alcohol recovery programs, or hold on until their disability claims are processed. General Assistance is the only cash assistance these Pennsylvanians are eligible for, and often means the difference between being able to get out of a bad situation and being stuck or winding up in jail, the hospital, or on the streets.

A People's Budget for PA:

Maintains the General Assistance program. We believe everyone deserves a second chance, and a hand when they're ready to take that first step out of a bad situation.

We believe that the answer to prison overcrowding is to reverse the irresponsible policies that led to prison overcrowding in the first place. Instead of building more prisons, we need to reduce the number of people in prison. This would eliminate the need to build new prisons and has the potential to dramatically reduce corrections spending. There are many safe and effective ways to do this. Here are just a few:

  • Pass existing legislation like Senate Bill 100, which would expand eligibility for pre-release programs, decrease the number of people who are sent back to prison on technical parole violations, and enhance community-based reentry programs;
  • Mandate Parole eligibility for people over fifty years old who have served more than 25 years;
  • Eliminate state time as a sentencing option for drug offenses;
  • Use intermediate sanctions so technical parole violators are not sent back to prison;
  • End ineffective and racially biased policing practices like stop-and-frisk and the Philadelphia curfew on youth

For a more comprehensive list of ways to reduce the prison population, click here to download an informative PDF.

share with friends

Join the conversation for a more fair PA budget by tweeting with the hashtag #PABudget.