Gov. Corbett’s budget proposed combining five county human services programs into one flexible block grant. In the past, state legislation dictated how much counties could spend under each category, regardless of their population’s unique needs.
Block granting would allow counties to focus funding on programs that are more effective at helping the needy. Wasting tax dollars on ineffective programs harms both taxpayers and the poor.
Who could oppose this win-win reform? Only special interests that get rich off the poor, including government union bosses like those at the SEIU. Helping lead the charge for the SEIU is Rep. Gene DiGirolamo—the only Pennsylvania Republican endorsed by the union—who has consistently voiced his opposition to county block grants.
SEIU’s opposition has nothing to do with concern for the needy. The union supports the status quo— guaranteeing funding for certain programs regardless of performance—to preserve its ability to collect union dues. In fact, the SEIU pledged to spend $85 million in 2012 for political action in states like Pennsylvania to maintain the special privileges it uses to squeeze taxpayers and government workers.
It’s time for House members to defend the truly needy against special interests by supporting county block grants.