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Dear CF Friend,
We all know the sheer jubilance felt from finishing a race, but what’s to celebrate from reaching a milestone? Simple: In terms of political measurement, it takes reaching a few milestones to finish a race, and if you can’t get to milestones, you can’t cross the finish line. For freedom lovers across the Keystone State, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and Gov. Tom Corbett touched a few milestones with the budget passed late Saturday night. And for that, it is cause for celebration.
Truly the most significant milestone reached was the hefty expansion of parental school choice, through a doubling of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) – a nationally recognized school choice program we helped bring about in 2001. The EITC was increased from $75 million to $100 million, but the increase was also accompanied by the creation of a new Education Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (EITC 2.0) with $50 million that will help rescue thousands of children from Pennsylvania’s most violent and failing schools.
While thousands of families will now see the life-changing benefits of enrolling children in safe and high-performing schools like Logos Academy, we must continue the fight on behalf of the tens of thousands more Pennsylvania children still left stranded. Thanks to the many Republicans AND Democrats that supported the doubling of EITC scholarship opportunities for many more children!
This budget will also help make Pennsylvania more competitive and friendly to job creators by not raising taxes and continuing the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise tax. By limiting spending growth to less than inflation and population growth, and not spending every last cent (keeping several hundred million for next year), it is another important milestone for Pennsylvania taxpayers. But there is much work left to be done.
The Four-Alarm fiscal inferno we alerted you to over the last six months remains a serious threat. While we took steps to curb our welfare and corrections spending, the pension and debt crises remain unresolved.
So as we take a moment to celebrate these significant milestones, we know that after we recognize our victories, there are still many battles left to fight as we remain…
Fighting for Our Freedom,
Matthew J. Brouillette
President & CEO