Quantcast

Pa. budget proposal has Harrisburg fired up - abc27 WHTM

Pa. budget proposal has Harrisburg fired up

Posted: Updated:
  • Related LinksMore>>

  • House GOP introduces budget bill

    House GOP introduces budget bill

    Wednesday, May 29 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-29 23:02:34 GMT
    "This budget is more than last year," said House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) in explaining the budget bill that will officially kick off the budget debate in Harrisburg. It's dueMore >>
    "This budget is more than last year," said House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) in explaining the budget bill that will officially kick off the budget debate in Harrisburg.
    More >>
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The state budget battle is underway and it already has some in the capital city fired up.

Within the House Republican's budget bill is a serious cut to a line item called Capital Fire Protection. The allocation was $2.5 million, but the GOP plan proposes to slash the amount down to $496,000.

If the House GOP bill is passed, some say it would pose a serious threat to Harrisburg's public safety and would almost certainly lead to firefighter layoffs.

"The state is really kicking the city when it is down," said state Senator Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/York).

The city's fire department is responsible for the Capitol Complex and other state-owned buildings, if the services are needed. The cost, according to Teplitz, is much higher than the $2.5 million the city is getting.

"The actual cost to the city is $4 million," Teplitz said.

"This was a huge kick in the gut for the city of Harrisburg," said state Representative Patty Kim (D-Harrisburg). "This is not something we needed at all."

Brad Koplinski, Budget and Finance chairman of Harrisburg City Council, agreed.

"If the state were to create a fire department of its own, what would that cost? It would certainly be more than 2.5 million dollars," he said. "It will certainly hurt the city."

Mayor Linda Thompson admitted that if the measure was approved, it would not be good for the city. However, this early in the budget game, she is not worried.

"I just didn't get my knickers in a knot. I wasn't overly concerned," Thompson said.

Thompson said the same line item was targeted to decrease in budget drafts in years past, but officials have been able to fight for funding.

"We were able to fight back and get it restored and I am optimistic," Thompson said.

Powered by WorldNow