Hanna opposes Republican budget proposal

From staff reports

LOCK HAVEN — State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, said the House considered its first budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year on Tuesday, but the plan fails to meet the needs of the commonwealth or working families.

According to Hanna, the proposal, House Bill 218, included many of the priorities that Gov. Tom Wolf outlined in his budget address, such as increases to basic, special and higher education spending, and provides budgetary savings from government efficiencies. However, it falls short with regards to early childhood education programs, child care for working parents and their children, fails to make necessary investments to attract good, family-sustaining jobs and disregards the huge financial hole Pennsylvania already faces.

Hanna said while he applauds members on the other side of the aisle for jumpstarting negotiations to move the budget process forward in a timely manner, Pennsylvania needs a budget that works for all people, especially working men and women and the middle-class.

“Now more than ever, we need a budget that reduces Pennsylvania’s growing deficit while making government more efficient and effective for families and small businesses,” Hanna said.

He said the plan House lawmakers were asked to vote on today eliminates funding for safe school initiatives and reduces funding for Pre-K and Head State programs, medical assistance, seniors and persons with physical disabilities, mental health services, human services programs, trauma, burn and Obstetrics and Neonatal services.

“On top of all of that, I could not support this proposal because it negatively impacts human services at the county level and also dramatically affects our state parks and forests and practically decimates the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,” Hanna said.

“We can do better. We must do better for the people of Pennsylvania. I look forward to future discussions with members on both sides of the aisle to pass a responsible, commonsense state budget.”

The proposal will now go to the Senate for consideration.