By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials from the suburban Pennsylvania counties surrounding Philadelphia traveled to City Hall today to join city leaders in decrying Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed statewide cuts to social services.
At issue at the City Council hearing was the governor’s plan to consolidate social service funding into “block grants” while shrinking the level of funding by about 20 percent.
“This is not just an issue for Philadelphia,” said Joanne Kline, head of the Montgomery County Department of Aging and Adult Services (front row in photo, third from left). “This is an issue for every county across the state.”
Echoing that was Doug Hill, head of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (second from left), who said that counties throughout the commonwealth will suffer.
“Very clearly to us, a 20-percent cut in these (budget) lines is unsustainable,” he told Philadelphia councilmembers.
Dr. Donald Schwarz, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for public health, agreed that the entire region could suffer under Corbett’s proposed budget.
“The smaller cities in our region will have the same problems as Philadelphia. But also, if Philadelphia is less able to care for people, it may well ripple back to the surrounding counties,” he said.
Councilmembers urged families and agencies affected by the reductions to lobby the state legislature as Corbett’s budget is debated.