The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates Pennsylvania would lose more than $1 billion in federal funding for education, law enforcement, clean water, and other state and local government projects under the federal budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan. The plan also includes cuts to Medicaid and highway projects, costing Pennsylvania jobs.
As Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center Director Sharon Ward said in a recent statement on this report: "Deficit-reduction should not come at the expense of Pennsylvania's economic future. Congress should take a balanced approach that includes revenues to avoid cuts that will irreparably harm our ability to educate our children, build roads and bridges, and have clean water and safe communities — all key elements of a strong future economy."
The funding cuts to states, counties, and cities under the Ryan budget proposal would far exceed the automatic cuts scheduled to begin in January, often referred to by the term "sequestration." In 2014, the Ryan budget cuts would be three times as deep, inflicting far more damage than sequestration. In later years, the difference would be even greater, as the sequestration cuts diminish, but the deep Ryan cuts remain.
Specifically, the Ryan budget proposal likely would reduce federal funding in these areas in Pennsylvania:
- Education. Head Start, teacher quality programs, special education, and Title 1 funding for schools in high-poverty areas likely would face deep cuts.
- Transportation. Likely cuts would further set back Pennsylvania's ability to build and repair roads, bridges, airports, and public transportation systems.
- Public safety. Pennsylvania would likely have less funding for disaster assistance and grant programs that help local police departments hire, train, and equip officers.
- Community development. Funds that help improve water and sewer systems and revitalize deteriorating neighborhoods likely would face cuts.
- Housing. Pennsylvania likely would be less able to provide rental assistance and heating and cooling assistance for low-income people, many of them elderly.
- Workforce. Pennsylvania would have fewer resources for workforce training, placement services, and childcare assistance for low-income working parents.
- Health. Funding cuts would hinder Pennsylvania's ability to keep community health centers open, provide mental health and substance abuse services, and give nutrition support to low-income mothers and young children.