Press Release on IFO Projections
Campaign for What Works Calls on Legislature to
Fully Restore Funding to Human Services Development Fund
PITTSBURGH, PA – June 13, 2012 – In response to yesterday’s Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) projections that revenues will exceed Governor Corbett’s budget projections by $767 million, the Campaign for What Works is calling on the state legislature to support the Senate’s 2012-2013 proposed $27.65 billion budget and to fully restore the funding to the Human Services Development Fund which is currently facing a 10% ($84 million) cut.
“In a just society, we have a moral obligation to care for those who – through no fault of their own – need our help to live meaningful, independent lives,” said Grant Oliphant, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation. “And that moral obligation weighs heavier when, as the IFO demonstrates, we have the means to do so. The reaction to the IFO’s recent projections by our House and Senate leaders is heartening and we support their continued efforts to set a budget that would fully restore the cuts to the Human Service Development Fund. We are hopeful that the administration will support the Senate’s higher spend number in the budget, which is still well below the IFO’s projections.”
Diana Bucco, President of the Forbes Funds and Coordinator for the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership said, “Nonprofit and for-profit organizations that contract with counties to provide human services are barely working at the margins now – and in some cases, they are already working below the margin. Last year’s Act 22, which gave the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare unbridled authority to make arbitrary cuts in payments, services, and rates, has thrown families into crisis and left providers scrambling. In addition to last year’s budget cuts and this years’ proposed $168 million cut to the Human Service Development Fund, agencies are being forced to turn away clients, cut services, and lay off employees, adding to an already high rate of unemployment.”
“The Independent Fiscal Office’s projection is good news for Pennsylvania and for our neighbors who need help living independent, productive lives,” said Bob Nelkin, President of United Way of Allegheny County. “We cannot and should not continue to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens including elderly parents anxiously waiting to get help for an adult child with Down Syndrome, or people struggling with mental health concerns.”
The Campaign for What Works is a collaboration of Pennsylvania families, providers, agencies, coalitions, community foundations and individuals advocating for efficient, effective programs that save money and improve the quality of life.