Friday, June 17, 2011

Hypoco-lypse Now

We're for it... we're just against paying for it
With contributions from Rep. Steve Samuelson

I've waxed philosophical many times in this blog about the PA GOP's hypocritical policies and actions. For example, when my GOP Policy counterpart said our "surplus is extremely good news and a great sign," only to have other House GOP leaders claim a few weeks later that there is no surplus.

It turns out these bouts of hypocrisy aren't apparent just to readers of this blog, but to others! My colleague Steve Samuelson provides me regularly with examples of when GOP rhetoric just doesn't correlate with their actions. Below are a few of the most atrocious we've encountered.

Providing for Providers

On May 24, the Pennsylvania Community Providers Association (which represents 225 community-based organizations providing or supporting mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, children’s, and other human services) held a press conference in the Capitol calling for the full funding for community-based human services in this year's budget. Several House Democrats stopped by and spoke in favor of the funding restoration.

We were joined by a lone House Republican from Montgomery County, who spoke eloquently in favor of funding these valuable community-based services, and who a few hours later voted for a budget that cut these services.

Bowling for Food banks

On June 6 the Bowling Proprietors Association of PA teamed up with the state's food banks to "strike out hunger," drawing awareness and donations. A lane was set up in the Capitol's EW allowing 80+ legislators to bowl. Democrats and Republicans, senators and representatives all participated in the fun.  The BPA's donation of $25K will be especially useful as more and more Pennsylvanians are visiting food banks and because just two weeks prior to the event, the House GOP voted to cut the State Food Purchase Program by $339,000, likely hurting the 805,000 households who used the program in 2009.

Swing for hypocrisy

Pennsylvania has poor marks as far as cancer screening and deaths. To make matters worse the House GOP budget cuts Cancer Screening Services by 14.9%. Despite the cuts, 57 House Republicans found it in their heart to co-sponsor a resolution (prime sponsored by a Lycoming GOP lawmaker) supporting "Take A Swing Against Breast Cancer Month." They're likely depending on the annual fundraiser to make up for their own 15% cut.

There is great speculation that next week is "it" week...budget week. Signing the state budget next week fulfills the Gov. Corbett and Majority Leader Turzai's pledge to have an "on-time budget" no matter how many Pennsylvanians it hurts.