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Philadelphia (CBS) – Nathan Benefield, Vice-President of Policy Analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation, criticized Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for using the budget impasse as a reason to not approve corporate tax credits that go to fund student scholarships.

Benefield, talking with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s Dom Giordano, said tens of thousands of students throughout Pennsylvania could be impacted negatively.

“These are scholarships through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Scholarships where business donate money to provide scholarships to low income students to attend private school. About 45,000 students benefit from these scholarship programs and currently the Governor is saying, I can’t release the money or give approval to corporations to give these contributions for scholarships and a lot of schools and organizations and students are suffering as a result.”

He insisted that the dispute over the budget does not have to be solved for these credits to be approved and move forward.

“This is not even something that the state spends money on. It’s actually part of the tax law that businesses get a tax credit when they contribute. You and I are, of course, still paying our taxes because the tax law is still in effect, even without a state budget. So, there’s no reason why the Governor can’t go ahead and approve tax credits for organizations who are supporting these scholarships.”

Benefield stated that time is running out to get these funds in place,

“Businesses have to make these contributions to support scholarships by the end of the year, by December 31. There is a really hard deadline. If that doesn’t happen, there’s going to be about $150 Million not used on scholarships. Tens of thousands of students could be left out without a scholarship to a school next year.”