CLEAR Leaders Applaud Gov. Wolf for Line-Item Veto

Dec 29, 2015, 16:27 ET from CLEAR Coalition

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leaders of the CLEAR Coalition today applauded Governor Tom Wolf for standing up for Pennsylvania families and rejecting the narrow political agenda of right-wing Republican ideologues in Harrisburg.

"The governor did the right thing and we will continue to support his efforts to enact a real state budget that restores cuts to our schools and ensures that vital, life-saving services are there for needy Pennsylvanians," said David Fillman, Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13 and Chair of the CLEAR Coalition.

"Republican leaders need to hear the message loud and clear: Pennsylvanians are sick and tired of the political games. It is time to grow up and govern. And that starts with funding our schools. Cutting $95 million more from our schools – on top of the $1 billion in cuts in the last four years – is just ridiculous."

Rick Bloomingdale, President of the PA AFL-CIO, added the governor's release of $23.4 billion in emergency funding for schools is a lifeline for students across the state but cautioned that more work needs to be done.

"The governor's decision to make sure schools are able to open next month was the right call but lawmakers need to get back to Harrisburg immediately and finish the work. Absent a real budget, local property taxes will continue to increase. Schools will be forced to continue cutting programs and our students will continue to fall behind," said Bloomingdale.

State colleges and universities, still, do not have funding for this year.

"The Republican leadership should be embarrassed. The New Year starts in a few days and Pennsylvanians are still waiting for a budget," said Tom Herman, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668.

Herman noted that Governor Wolf's decision to release badly-needed funds for a wide array of human services that needy and vulnerable Pennsylvanians rely upon.

"This impasse has inflicted deep pain and suffering on hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. Health care services, shelter for victims of domestic abuse, rape counseling and support services have all been cut or closed for months now," said Herman.

"This is an important first step in getting the state back on the right track but it is just a first step. The time has come for all lawmakers to come together and agree on a responsible and effective budget that meets the real needs for Pennsylvania families."