This opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer dated April 19, 2017 by John Baer highlights the growing budget deficit in PA. Although states have a mandate to balance their budgets every year, many do not. Truth in Accounting, a non-profit which provides citizens with understandable government financial information, states that PA’s actual fiscal deficit is $74.2 billion. As Democrats, we believe that it is the responsibility of those we elect to public office to be responsible stewards of our tax dollars. Yet, our state representative and senators seem more focused on their own slush fund, which now totals $118 million in reserve accounts, an increase of $18 million over the previous year at a time of state fiscal crisis. – Cathy Kernen, Collegeville Borough Council Member
A Times-Herald article addresses studies which show racial bias in funding and how it directly affects each of us. us. It states that the larger a school district’s white population, the greater its state funding per student. Also, the PA school funding formula is biased against districts that are growing, vs. more rural districts where the population is shrinking. The story quotes PA House Rep Tom Quigley (R-146) who says that if the funding formula was changed to a fixed amount per student, Pottstown’s funding would increase 74 percent, Spring-Ford would increase 26 percent, and Perkiomen Valley would increase 22 percent.
Also notable is where most states fund 50% of the money that their school districts receive, this amount has been cut to 33% in PA thanks to our Republican legislators. That is why our school taxes are so high.
To see the full article, click here
As Tax Day comes around, many of us are thinking about just how hard it is to make ends meet. It seems that too often there is too much month left for our paycheck to stretch out that far. Historically, Democrats have been particularly concerned about those who are on the lower end of the economic pay scale and how they fair. You may be interested in what our Party Platform has to say about that.
Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union and will work in every way we can—in Congress and the federal government, in states and with the private sector—to reach this goal. We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour. We applaud the approaches taken by states like New York and California. We also support creating one fair wage for all workers by ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities.
Democrats support a model employer executive order or some other vehicle to leverage federal dollars to support employers who provide their workers with a living wage, good benefits, and the opportunity to form a union without reprisal. The one trillion dollars spent annually by the government on contracts, loans, and grants should be used to support good jobs that rebuild the middle class.
— Aidsand “Ace” Wright-Riggins, Candidate for Mayor of Collegeville Borough