The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is faced with a difficult reality that is echoed across the nation. A combination of rising costs including those from medical care for the elderly and unions, and revenues not meeting expectations fuel this reality. The difference between the state having a shortfall of funds and the federal government having a shortfall is that the state constitution requires the state legislature to pass a balanced budget. This is a great preventative measure that will hopefully prevent the commonwealth from ever reaching the debt crisis that we see in Washington.
Faced with the reality of the situation the leadership in Harrisburg simply has to make cuts somewhere. Unfortunately Gov. Tom Corbett has suggested a cut of 30 percent to the Temple appropriation amounting to almost $42 million. I personally feel it would be irresponsible to not expect a cut at all. I feel that in this time everyone needs to share the sacrifice of our economic situation. Having said that, the current budget proposal has several sacred cows that are not being touched and programs that could be re-tooled to better serve people without being taken advantage of and wasting tax money.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania needs to look at reforming their welfare programs (fifth highest pubic assistants spending in the country) to make sure that recipients of aid are actually those who are in need. It’s also time that we take a serious look at state medical programs as it takes up a 31 percent (second highest in the country) chunk of our budget. This is understandably a difficult thing to touch considering the political implications of possibly cutting funding to the elderly in one of the oldest states in the country, but we must do it for our future.
We can all get involved in a number of ways through Temple Student Goverment, TALON and personal efforts but voting is the only foolproof method to have your voice heard. As the Vice President of the Temple College Republicans I look forward to working with the rest of our board to bring in great speakers this election year to help you make sound choices this coming election. While it is easy to look at the party next to the figure head of our state government and get angry at an entire party it is important to note that in the past education has been a bipartisan issue. This is a tough situation for republicans and cemocrats alike and we just need to be heard so they know making this funding decision is not a good one for them.
Vice President, Temple College Republicans