As a member of the steering committee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition, comprising more than 125 nonprofits, I applaud the Inquirer's editorial Tuesday concerning the budget deadline ("Same as it ever was"). I agree that "there's room for compromise to make cuts and raise the right taxes."
Our member organizations are still reeling from the economic effects of last year's 101-day impasse. We are still paying back loans and interest on our depleted lines of credit, operating with decreased staff due to layoffs, and working hard to provide services.
But, due to the recession, the need for the services we provide grows. Many of our state legislators now realize that the budget shortfall is too large to balance through cuts alone. Our organizations want them to know that we support them in making the hard choice to enact commonsense revenue proposals. We've taken the cuts; now, enact the taxes Pennsylvania needs for a truly balanced approach.
Debbie F. Plotnick
Director of advocacy
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania