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Brewster on Corbett Budget: “Don’t use Students as Pawns in Liquor Privatization Battle”

Harrisburg, February 5, 2013 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today provided the following statement about Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2013-14 budget proposal:

“I am encouraged by the governor’s interest in providing $90 million more state dollars to our public schools. I believe this renewed commitment is a healthy sign that he now recognizes that his previous two budgets shortchanged schools by $900 million and spurred steep property tax hikes across the state.

While I am pleased that the governor is trying to make amends and wants to more adequately fund schools, I am disappointed that he is proposing that some of the additional funding be contingent upon legislative approval of his liquor privatization and pension funding schemes. The education of our children is too important to be used as a bargaining chip.

Since the governor took office, test scores have fallen, 80 percent of school districts have raised local taxes and 15,500 jobs have been lost. Our children are our greatest resource and they deserve to receive the best education available, which is contingent upon fully-funded budgets.

While I was pleased with some of the ideas in today’s budget proposal, I hope we can provide additional support to schools and make a greater investment in our infrastructure, proven economic development and job creation programs.

As we were able to do the past two years, I look forward to working with my fellow lawmakers – both Democrats and Republicans – in the months ahead to improve on the governor’s budget proposal and restore dollars to numerous important programs and services.”

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