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Friday, February 10, 2006

Welfare cuts [or welfare EXPANSION by Rendell] have counties scrambling

Philadelphia Inquirer story "Welfare cuts have counties scrambling" are missing THE major reason that counties like Bucks and Montgomery will be raising taxes -- the dramatic increases in welfare recipients by the Rendell Administration.

The irony, of course, is that Gov. Rendell re-sloganed PA to "The State of Independence" but has turned the commonwealth into "The State of Dependents".

As the story notes:

Welfare rolls were initially relatively low, so the state had extra money. "We were able to build up quite a surplus," said Stacey Ward, spokeswoman for the state welfare department.

Some of that unspent funding went to the counties to help pay for child-welfare programs, such as delinquency prevention, along with juvenile-detention and probation expenses.

Then the surplus ran out, in part because welfare enrollment increased. In December, 318,976 people received cash assistance from the state, a 13 percent increase from two years earlier.

That meant that, statewide, counties had to cope with a reduction in state funding from $293 million to $68 million this year.

In the end, either property taxes will increase because of the massive expansion of welfare dependents or these service will have to be cut. Get ready for another round of rallies in Harrisburg!

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