State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luz-erne/Carbon/Monroe) says that he believes the 2012-2013 state budget fails to invest in students and the taxpayers.

Last week, Yudichak voted against the $27.65 billion budget, which cleared the Senate by a largely party-line 32-17 vote.

"This budget, despite bipartisan restoration efforts, makes no gains on the billions of dollars in cuts made to education last year meaning the tax bills and tuition bills will be higher for Pennsylvania taxpayers," he said. "By failing to adequately fund all levels of education, we are compromising our ability to grow an educated workforce and ultimately falling behind in the jobs race.

"For 25 straight months Northeastern Pennsylvania has endured the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania and this budget falls short in addressing chronic high unemployment in our region.

"Like last year, this spending plan fails to invest in the future of Pennsylvania and merely settles for the status quo," Yudichak continued. "This budget neglects to institute a long-term solution for both education and infrastructure investment. Not only will a substantial investment in infrastructure improve the safety and quality of our roads and bridges, but it would put thousands of Pennsylvanians back to work.

"Additionally, many families and small businesses throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania are still fighting to recover from the devastating floods of last fall. The General Assembly had a chance to include a bipartisan package of legislation in the budget that would have provided significant disaster relief to these families, but this budget will regrettably keep struggling families from getting back on their feet."