Pennsylvania Budget in Place, But How Did the Lehigh Valley Fare?
With the budget impasse finally over, many residents of Pennsylvania let out a collective sigh of relief over the weekend. We were tracking this 102-day journey since it began in the summer, and, just like other Commonwealth residents, were very relieved to hear that the General Assembly had come to an agreement.
With the budget in place, several news sources have been reporting on the severe cuts that some state departments received. Back in August, I mentioned that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) was receiving the most serious threats of budget cuts, and, indeed, the department that powers economic growth programs saw over 50% of its funding chopped. In a recent Morning Call article, Mark Shade, spokesman for the DCED, stated that the slashed budget will limit the department’s ability to do its work, though it will continue its programs and progress. It’s unknown at this time how the Lehigh Valley and the region’s cities will be directly affected through the smaller DCED budget.
Unfortunately, public television subsidies were entirely cut from the Pennsylvania budget, resulting in the cancellation of a local PBS-39 classic show, Tempo! The weekly documentary series focused on, among other topics, revitalization of the region’s cities and community development efforts in the Lehigh Valley. Sadly, the channel could no longer sustain production costs without the government’s help, despite the popularity of the program.
Residents of Pennsylvania: How do you feel now that the budget has passed?