Despite the sunny and hot day, the heads of several social service and arts organizations gathered in Pittsburgh Thursday decked out in rain gear to say it is raining in Pennsylvania. The groups are calling for the state legislature to increase spending in the 2011-2012 budget.
Tax revenues in Pennsylvania for the 2010-2011 budget-year that ends June 30th are running higher than expected by $540 million. Some lawmakers are pushing for the funds to be put into the state’s rainy day fund.
“Funding a savings account when you have critical needs in the communities of the people that elected you… it makes no sense to us,” said Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania Executive Director Colleen Fedor. “It’s raining now.”
Fedor would not put a number on the amount of the surplus that should be spent in the coming year. The 2010-2011 budget called for $29 billion in spending, the 2011-2012 budget passed by the PA House calls for $27.3 billion in spending.
Fedor said efforts in recent weeks have begun to have an impact on members of the legislature. She thinks supporters are starting to make headway into expanding the house passed budget. A date for a final vote in the Senate has not yet been set.