from Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone
In 2017, misguided leadership in Harrisburg and Washington has created funding challenges for all levels of Government. This budget season, Chester County faces devastating state and federal funding cuts. The result of these cuts could force property tax increases, cuts in vital programs or both. Read below for more information and contact your legislators to help us defeat these bad budgets!
Trump Budget Proposal
President Trump’s first budget proposal to Congress contained shocking cuts to a variety of important priorities that could harm everything from the environment to national security. But the elimination of funding for Community Development Block Grants would have the worst effect on the County. Over the past 10 years, this funding has meant almost $15 Million for Chester County non-profits doing essential work in our communities and $7 Million for local municipalities for projects that encourage economic development and improve quality of life. I wrote about these reckless cuts in a Op-Ed published in the Daily Local, the Chester County Press and the Chester County Times. Read it here for more details.
Contact your Federal officials and let them know that they must reject these cuts! Click here for contact info for your Congressman and here for our US Senators.
State House Budget
The County faces a similar situation concerning State funding. The State mandates that Counties provide many services, from Courts and Prisons to Human Services and Elections. This year, the budget passed by the State House drastically cuts funding for some of these mandated priorities, including zeroing-out several line items to create totally unfunded mandates. Chester County has been a leader in reducing the prison population through initiatives like mental health interventions, alternative sentencing and recovery court. That is why I am so concerned about the elimination of funding for Adult Probation, which would force more low-level offenders back into the County prison – increasing costs and leading to worse outcomes.
The County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution calling for restoration of state funding to Counties, and we have met with our legislators and their staff to discuss this issue. You can read coverage of our resolution in the Daily Local here. Of course, the legislators need to hear from you! Find your State Senator and State Rep here, and let them know they need to restore funding for Counties in their final budget.
Together we can defeat these federal and state budget cuts, but only if we stay informed and make our voices heard, Join me in resisting bad policy that will hurt our community by calling, mailing or e-mailing your legislators today!