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Governor Rendell Discusses Impact of Budget on Services for Families of Children With Autism
Date:6/20/2009

BRYN MAWR, Pa., June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today met with families in southeastern Pennsylvania to discuss what is at stake in the proposed state budget as it relates to autism services. An estimated 25,000 Pennsylvania children and adults live with an autism spectrum disorder.

"Pennsylvania has worked hard and made great progress for families who rely on services that their children need," said Governor Rendell during an event at Bryn Mawr College. "Funding for these services is now being threatened. The budget proposed by Senate Republicans would cut funding for autism by nearly $8 million, which means cutting services and support to nearly 250 families."

Governor Rendell recognized there is no sustainable, fiscally responsible solution to Pennsylvania's budget challenge without new revenue. He rebuffed demands by the Senate to pass a budget riddled with draconian cuts that would do further damage to Pennsylvania's programs that protect the health and well-being of vulnerable families.

Governor Rendell recently proposed a temporary increase in Pennsylvania's personal income tax - currently the second lowest in the nation - and a temporary delay in the phase-out of the Capital Stock & Franchise Tax. Coupled with hundreds of budget reductions Governor Rendell has already implemented, these steps are critical in addressing a projected $3.2 billion budget shortfall. The Governor went on to warn that without additional revenue, Pennsylvania's overall economy could worsen.

"Families of children with autism understand the severity of the budget situation we're facing. There is no need to convince them that the Senate's proposed cuts are a bad idea," said the Governor. "Spending is not just about dollars but about programs that affect the lives of real people. We cannot allow decisions to be made that gut programs and shortchange the future of
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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