Statement on Corbett’s Misguided Budget Priorities, Failure of Leadership

HARRISBURG, July 1 – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania State Council released the following statement in response to passage of Governor Tom Corbett’s budget that fails school students, taxpayers and 600,000 hardworking people who are blocked from having good health care without Medicaid expansion.

“This budget is more of Corbett’s misguided priorities that fail our schools, force property tax hikes, slash senior programs and deny access to healthcare for thousands of people,” said Gabe Morgan, PA director of SEIU 32BJ SEIU and President of the State Council.

“Instead of wasting time on backdoor attempts to outsource the lottery to a foreign company, put new liquor stores on every block and eliminate retirement security for working families, Corbett should have fought to repair the damage he inflected on schools from his $1 billion cut.”

Despite Senate support, Governor Corbett and House Republican leaders rejected legislation to make health insurance available to more Pennsylvanians. According to independent studies, Medicaid expansion would cover 600,000 hardworking people, inject billions of dollars into the state’s economy and create 40,000 good-paying, family sustaining jobs.

“Governor Corbett and House Republican leaders are the roadblock between 600,000 working people and affordable, quality health care. Without Medicaid expansion, thousands of lives remain at risk and community hospitals across the state could be forced to close,” said Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and Secretary-Treasurer of the State Council. “The governor had a choice and he put partisan politics ahead of health care for hardworking Pennsylvanians.”

Kathy Jellison, President of SEIU Local 668, said despite spending months ignoring the needs of Pennsylvanians, and attacking the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of workers, the governor’s agenda has been rejected.

“The governor should have listened to the warnings of pension experts that his politically-driven plan would bleed the pension system dry and put taxpayers on the hook for $40 billion in new costs. Without this needless distraction, the Administration could have focused on restoring funding for education and vital human services, creating middle class jobs, getting the state’s economy back on track and putting families first.”

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