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Challenge to Legislators: #NameTheCuts

The campaign uses social media to ask what programs will be cut. (Yoel Ben-Avraham/flickr.com)
The campaign uses social media to ask what programs will be cut. (Yoel Ben-Avraham/flickr.com)
April 7, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A non-partisan policy and research group is challenging lawmakers to name the programs they'd cut to balance the budget.

The state is facing a structural deficit of almost $2 billion in the coming year. But the Republican majority in the General Assembly is insisting it will not raise taxes to pay the bills.

So Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, has launched a social media campaign asking lawmakers to #NameTheCuts.

"If they're not going to raise revenues, they need to tell us what the cuts are going to be because they ought to give Pennsylvanians a choice,” he states. “Do they want to raise revenues or do they want to see cuts to whatever it is that they identify?"

Stier says the idea is to make Name The Cuts a trending topic on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Within hours of launching the campaign on Wednesday, Stier says he already saw results.

"It's gone from us to our allies to people around the state who are saying, "Legislators, name the cuts,’” he relates. “’Tell us what you're going to do if you're not going to raise revenues.""

Stier says the tax increases the governor proposed would cost middle class Pennsylvanians about as much as a coffee and a pastry every week.

According to Stier, for years now the General Assembly has been using gimmicks to avoid raising taxes. But now he maintains lawmakers have run out of gimmicks.

"And so they are either going to have to raise revenues or we are facing this fiscal cliff that could have devastating consequences in cuts in education and human services all over the state," he stresses.

The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA