With this FY 22 budget, the Commonwealth had a rare opportunity to invest in our future, but the best our elected officials could muster is a status quo budget that intentionally prevented billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds from being used to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians. Counties across Pennsylvania are negatively impacted by crumbling infrastructure, polluted water, and a lack of job opportunities in diverse and growing clean energy industries. Pennsylvanians shouldn’t allow our elected officials to revert back to an economy that unquestionably favored some at the expense of so many families who were left behind. We can do better than that.
We expect our state lawmakers to have bold vision and courage - characteristics nowhere to be found in the state budget announced today. Pennsylvania’s General Assembly underfunds our environmental infrastructure and pollution liabilities by billions of dollars each year. Despite having the funds necessary to invest in clean water, maintain our parks and forests, fully fund our environmental watchdog agencies, address environmental injustices, and transition workers to good-paying clean energy jobs, state lawmakers are punting on these issues and, in the process, refusing to invest in the future of every single Pennsylvanian.
This can has been kicked down the road for so many years that it’s run out of asphalt. We call on our elected leaders to take seriously the opportunity to leverage federal investments and ensure that the remainder of funds are appropriated as soon as possible so the Commonwealth can build towards a strong future.
Political Director, Conservation Voters of PA
Ezra P. Thrush, MPA
Senior Director of Government Affairs, PennFuture
Legislative & Political Director, Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Chapter