Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and SEIU Healthcare PA Executive Vice President, Kati Sipp Urge Governor Corbett and State Legislators to Restore Spending Cuts, Pass Transportation Funding and Medicaid Expansion to Create Jobs as a part of the State Budget

Jun 18, 2013, 17:02 ET from Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said today that the current fragile state of Pennsylvania's economy and the anemic job creation performance should prompt Governor Corbett and State Legislators to shift away from another round of spending cuts and austerity budgets and concentrate on increased spending and job creation to spur Pennsylvania's economy and job growth.

"You can't create jobs and move toward recovery and growth by continuing to cut spending and taking more money out of the economy and out of people's pockets as has been the case over the previous two budgets passed by the Governor and State Legislature.

"Austerity hasn't worked in Wisconsin or Ohio and it isn't working for Pennsylvania.  It's time to put Pennsylvania on a more solid and secure footing by restoring the cuts in education, passing Transportation Funding and passing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act," Bloomingdale said as he recited a list of priorities supported by working families. They included opposing privatization schemes such as Pennsylvania's Lottery and Wine and Spirits Shoppes which provide good jobs and bring in much needed revenue for programs that support middle class working families.

Mr. Bloomingdale and Ms. Kati Sipp, the Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare PA held a tele-press conference with State Capitol news reporters today about the connection between the budget debate, job creation and economic growth.

Pennsylvania has gone from about seventh in job creation to 47th since the great recession hit the economy due in large part to bad economic policy and austerity budgets. These have prolonged the jobless recovery.

Ms. Sipp said that the Governor and State Legislators could add an additional $4 billion in revenue to the state budget which will give the economy a much needed boost and restore confidence and long term job growth. "This can be accomplished by restoring the cuts in public education from the previous two budgets, by closing the Delaware Loophole that allows big corporations to avoid paying taxes and by expanding Medicaid to approximately 700,000 uninsured working Pennsylvanians.  She said Medicaid expansion alone will bring into the State approximately $3 billion in federal funds over the next few years to lower health care costs through expansion of health care.  It is estimated to create over 35,000 jobs in health care in Pennsylvania by 2016," she said.

Bloomingdale added that he hadn't seen a jobs bill introduced in this Legislative session until the recent introduction of Senate Bill 1 the Transportation Funding Bill. What we have seen are 11 bills attacking the prevailing wage and six bills attacking collective bargaining.

"It's mind boggling to me that some of our elected officials believe that attacking wages and impoverishing workers is the way to create jobs. You can't create jobs by cutting spending, taking money out of the economy, and out of the pockets of working families. You create jobs by putting money into the economy and by putting money into people's pockets," Bloomingdale said.  "That is the only way we will get out of this slump," he said.

SOURCE Pennsylvania AFL-CIO