Saturday, March 03, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1969, March 3rd, 2012

Our "Interview" logo.


This past week, PCN has been airing the state budget hearings. Various Cabinet and agency officials have been making the case for their departments. We ran into a former co worker who is heavily involved in human services in LuLac land and asked what effect the Corbett budgets of the last two years have had on his job.
Q: Do you dread this time of year when you get the Governor’s budget?
A: No. I know that sounds strange but we know we will be cut and act accordingly. Corbett is making sure he is sending a message to his constituency and for that matter the state that there will be no increases.
Q: If you make do as you say, don’t you then prove the Governor’s point that you could get along anyway?
A: Well we make the numbers work. But in terms of human costs, it is evident the Governor is wrong. If you see more homeless on the streets, if you see more crime, more people lining up for food, then our point is proven that these cuts hurt people.
Q: How does your organization deal with less money?
A: We try to partner with church based organization but they are stretched to the limit. They still help. In terms of staff, I’m making real good use of social work interns from the colleges but there are a few problems with that. First off, majors in social work aren’t as popular as they once were and if I am dealing with case sensitive material, like family interventions, I just can’t send a kid in there.
Q: Your funding is primarily state?
A: No, not at all. I’m glad you asked that question because people get the idea that the state solely supports us. We get money from the United Way, the counties we serve, the state allocation as well as some private donations we do through fundraising events. It is a fiscal balancing act that is getting more challenging as time goes on.
Q: How so?
A: United Way has an array of agencies they must serve. The county gives us money but that is in association with their transportation departments. The state portion has been decreasing for a few years years now. We used the state revenue as a base for our programming needs. So when we get a cut, we have to cut programs. When we cut programs, the state thinks we can get along without the money. But then the clients start to think we are not as effective as we used to be. Then the community says we don’t do much anymore. It’s a vicious cycle.
Q: What do you say to those people who say that people should take care of their own self and that government shouldn’t have a role in your type of business?
A: They don’t see what I see. There are more people being abused now than ever before.. There….
Q: I made the point a few weeks back that it seems like a baby is being killed or abused every other day.
A: You’re correct. And not just because of the news coverage either. People are at the end of a rope they’ve been clinging to for a while. Some can’t cope.
Q: Are the State Reps helping at all?
A: Sure but there’s not much the Dems can do because they are in the minority. And we have two brand new Democratic Senators. They can be vocal but that’s about it.
Q: You’re facing a cut. But government is getting too big people say. Governor Rendell used stimulus money to prop up education and I thought that was wrong because it was a one time fix. Where would you cut if you could?
A: My friends in the schools will be angry at me but 75 countries have less money in their coffers than the State Department of Education here in Pennsylvania. I’d like to see more results before we throw any more money at it. You can’t fix education today unless you start fixing the families. Until you start fixing the reliance on drugs and alcohol. The other thing that needs to be taxed more is the oil and gas industry. We look like bumpkins letting people come in, use our land and resources and then we don’t tax them? Those are the two areas I’d look at.
Q: Family first, right?
A: It should be. If it were, there’d still be problems but they might be less challenging.


At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corbett's budget cuts are being felt every day of the week by average folks. My church's food pantry is always empty and the people getting the short supplies of food aren't from the low income places, they are my from street. He is a scary Governor that is looking at the bottom line. REndell went in the oppsite direction, now this guy is going in a totally different area and scheme of things. At least my Senator, Blake is calling the Governor out on some of this stuff. But I doubt it will help any.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will never be of help while average people continue to vote in Republicans.


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