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Senate and House Pass $27.15 Billion Republican Budget


Senate Passage a Result of Strict Party-line Vote       

June 28, 2011: Senator Costa speaks on Senate floor about the pain of the
Republican budget.

      Senate Democrats have been calling for a state budget that reflects shared sacrifice and fairness to all Pennsylvanians since March. It is now clear that our consistent calls fell on deaf ears. This budget disproportionately affects our middle class while jeopardizing the quality and affordability of our education system at all levels, pre-K through college.

      The state budget, the product of a closed-door deal crafted by Republicans in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office, contains a cut of more than $900 million to basic education, while also drastically reducing state support to community colleges (10 percent cut), state system (18 percent cut) and state related (19 percent cut) colleges and universities. It eliminates the funding for charter school reimbursements which were funded at $224 million last year. This hurts our most economically-challenged districts at the worst possible time.

      Not only will this budget force thousands of teachers to lose their jobs, but it also puts our economic recovery at risk. Cuts to successful job creation initiatives with a proven track record will stall. This budget makes significant funding cuts to business incubators and small business development centers. It will also force these entities, along with Industrial Resource Centers and Industrial Development Agencies to compete for the limited funds. All Children Left BehindFurthermore, state funding to our academic medical centers will be slashed in half. These research and teaching hospitals are economic engines that not only drive medical and research jobs into our communities, but attract millions in federal grants and private investment. This budget is a blow to medical institutions and the communities, like Pittsburgh, which have thrived and benefitted because of them.

      In addition to education cuts, the Republican budget also fails to dedicate enough funding to the hospital assessment to draw down much-needed federal funds. Hospitals will also be forced to pay for more costs as a result of this budget. While there is modest restoration for uncompensated care -- $16.5 million -- it is not nearly what is needed, further crippling hospitals.

June 28, 2011: Senator Costa reacts to the 2011-12 State Budget.
Budget Reaction

      We understand there is a need to be fiscally responsible in the current economic climate, but this budget falls far short of being responsible by cutting from those that need it the most. It is not responsible to make a commitment to big business at the expense of education. It is unfathomable that we are going to pass a budget that will lay off thousands of teachers and leave students in packed classrooms while stashing away hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

      It is not responsible to allow natural gas companies to make millions in profits while local communities are left to deal with the consequences and the costs of gas drilling.

      It is a new day in Pennsylvania. In this Pennsylvania, we ask the poor to sacrifice and suffer, the middle class to make concessions and do all we can to make sure that the rich get richer. This is a Pennsylvania characterized by closed door deals and beholden to big business. This is not a path that I want to see our state go down. Therefore, this is not a state budget I could support.

Impact of The Republican Budget's Cuts to Basic Education Funding in the 43rd District:

School District 2010-11 BEF 2011-12
Final BEF
BEF % Change
(over 2010-11)
Baldwin-Whitehall SD $9,645,663 $8,796,585 -8.80%
Penn Hills SD $16,276,371 $15,135,328 -7.01%
Pittsburgh SD $162,702,688 $152,501,623 -6.27%
Riverview SD $2,901,349 $2,788,686 -3.88%
Steel Valley SD $8,293,183 $7,878,922 -5.00%
West Mifflin Area SD $6,638,579
$6,340,318 -4.49%
Woodland Hills SD $14,788,295 $13,778,182 -6.83%


The 2011-2012 Republican Budget only includes Basic Education Funding and Accountability Block Grants. Other programs like Tutoring, Dual Enrollment, and Charter Reimbursements were eliminated, making the budget reductions even more severe. Here is what the numbers look like when you factor in those programs which were not funded at all:

School District 2010-11 Total 2011-12
Final Total
Total % Change
(0ver 2010-11)
Baldwin-Whitehall SD $10,321,032
$9,025,509.16 -12.55%
Penn Hills SD $18,727,890
$15,555,373.04 -16.94%
Pittsburgh SD $181,265,155
$154,595,734.94 -14.71%
Riverview SD $3,080,107
$2,838,044.65 -7.86%
Steel Valley SD $9,492,304
$8,042,170.07 -15.28%
West Mifflin Area SD $7,358,749
$6,534,880.62 -11.20%
Woodland Hills SD $17,889,519 $14,106,123.00 -21.15%

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Property Tax and Rent Rebate program Facebook Heating Assistance / LIHEAP Official Website Budget Reaction Floor Remarks on State Budget