Rep. Jared Solomon: Preserve key services

Solomon has embarked on a three-county tour in hopes of a more balanced budget for Northeast Philadelphia.

Solomon

Summer should be the time for barbecues, block parties and beer. Sadly, in Pennsylvania, it has also been about budget impasses as well. In summer, no one should need worry about the functioning of their government. And for us in Northeast Philadelphia, this seemingly annual phenomenon can often feel distant — out of sight, out of mind. But with each passing day without a balanced budget, the potential impact on the lives of Northeast Philadelphia residents grows.

As the state representative of 66,000 residents of the Northeast, it is my job to fight for us in Harrisburg. It is over a week since the Pennsylvania Senate passed its revenue plan and we have yet to be recalled to debate their proposals, such as borrowing a billion dollars against the Tobacco Settlement Fund, increasing the gross receipts tax on utilities and a severance tax on natural gas extraction.

Such measures will have big implications for the fiscal health of our state and the well-being of our families and communities. The threat is real — without a revenue package and a truly balanced budget, we risk losing services many of the residents of my legislative district and our community depend on.

It is my firm belief that only by bringing people together and finding common ground can we truly do what is right. This is my approach in tackling the pervasive challenges of unemployment and poverty in my district. And it is the correct approach in Harrisburg, where I have worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to advance legislation that helps government work better for the people it represents.

And that is why this week I am embarking on a tour of three counties in the center of the state to meet colleagues in their own districts, learning about the issues that are important to them, and telling them about what matters most to us in Northeast Philadelphia.

I hope this proactive approach will uncover the common concerns faced by urban and rural Pennsylvania alike. All Pennsylvanians want to see better jobs, safer communities and schools that excel. These issues, after all, are as relevant in Bellefonte as they are in Burholme. ••