Parker: Corbett budget not enough to address needs of Pennsylvania citizens

Following Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett's budget address earlier this week, state Rep. Cherelle Parker (D-Philadelphia) said the proposed budget does not do enough to address education, healthcare and the state's economic issues.

"We must implement an†equitable, fair and needs-based education funding formula," Parker said. "We must expand Medicaid to ensure adequate health coverage for families, those who fall into the low-income uninsurable gap, who are not poor enough for the current Medicaid program, but who are too poor to qualify for subsidies in the ACA Marketplace. We must also join our neighboring states of New York and Ohio to increase the minimum wage. Not only will†this provide additional income for families, but it will also generate additional revenue for our state's overall economy."

The Corbett administration's proposed budget is $29.4 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over the 2013-14 fiscal year. Under the proposed plan, public schools are set to receive a sizable increase in funding - $11.8 billion, compared to $10.3 billion for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Parker called for a needs-based education funding formula that focuses on meeting the demands of individual school districts. She also expressed support for increasing the minimum wage as lawmakers proceed to budget negotiations.

"I will continue to fight for much-needed services and resources and a state budget Pennsylvanians deserve," Parker said. "My top priorities will be to secure a fair school funding formula that offers all of our Commonwealth's public school students a†quality education†designed to prepare them to compete in this 21st century global economy and an increase to the minimum wage that will provide citizens with an income moving toward self-sufficiency. These are not just Philadelphia issues, nor urban versus rural issues, these are Pennsylvanian issues, and we should all be concerned."