State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) today released the following statement regarding Gov. Corbett's proposed $28.4 billion budget.

"When the governor gave his first budget address two years ago, he promised Pennsylvanians a departure from politics-as-usual and an end to one-time gimmicks that generate unsustainable revenues and only serve to temporarily mask larger budget problems.

"Unfortunately, today's budget proposal is built solely on gimmicks and sleight of hand that will hamstring state budgets for years to come.

"This administration has set Pennsylvania on a radical, partisan course – one driven by Washington think tanks and without regard for the Pennsylvania taxpayers. Local property taxes are going up because state investment is going down in education, human services and transportation.

"Our children's education is being held hostage to the one-time, false promise of the governor's liquor privatization plan. Plans to privatize the lottery and liquor stores – state assets that generate consistent, predictable revenues – are ill-conceived and will put another 40,000 Pennsylvanians out of work on top of the 20,000 that have already lost jobs under this administration.

"In Northeastern Pennsylvania, we continue to fight an uphill battle against alarmingly high unemployment rates and frustrating job creation numbers. By failing to invest in education, transportation and health care – our regions number one employer – this budget will cripple our regional economy.

"The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania suggests that if the governor fails to expand Medicaid, it will cost our hospital millions of dollars and potentially thousands of jobs.

"Across Pennsylvania, families have lost their jobs and have been cut from their health care and today's budget address provided them with little hope for better days ahead. We need to reinvest in families and stop the partisan governing that has placed ideology above common sense solutions to Pennsylvania's pressing problems."