SUNBURY – The state has yet to find a way to fund the $2.2 billion budget deficit, and the clock is ticking. Soon the state will run out of money. The current budget proposals cut millions of dollars from DEP and DCNR.
David Hess, a former secretary of the DEP, and currently lobbyist for several environmental groups says, DEP has already been cut 40% over the past decade, and they are on the chopping block again, “But what the house Republicans seem to be talking about at this point are further across the board cuts, and many of them are acting like these 40% cuts and these budgets cuts haven’t happened.”
When asked why the public is not more aware about environmental programs being cut, Hess said the Government does a lot in secret, “In the Senate when they passed their whole revenue package, it was done late at night, added to a bill late at night and they passed it the next morning.”
As for the dire straits the state is in, Gov. Tom Wolf has said that many budget cuts may have to be made soon and “a much more dire financial situation” will occur in the coming weeks if a solution is not found. The house is on summer recess and plans to return to Harrisburg in mid-September. (Christopher Elio)