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Corbett discusses budget, praises Bethlehem employer

Published February 13. 2012 05:03PM

BETHLEHEM -Governor Tom Corbett discussed his 2012-13 budget proposal during a visit to Lehigh Valley Plastics Friday, where he cited the Northampton County employer as an example of the kind of innovation and resiliency state government must support in order to bring real job growth to the region.

"I hope all of you will ask your legislators to pass the budget I proposed earlier this week," said Corbett. "It is built the way you build your own household budgets: you spend no more than you have. Given that the state spends your money, I think you can agree the philosophy appeals to most working Pennsylvanians."

The $27.14 billion proposal maintains Corbett's commitment to balance the state budget. It closes a projected revenue shortfall of more than $700 million and reduces spending by more than $20 million.

Importantly, it meets the state's pension obligations and does not raise taxes for residents or businesses.

The governor's proposed budget focuses on five key areas: economic opportunities, education, human services, public safety and streamlining government.

"By keeping taxes low and holding down government spending, this leaves more money in the part of the economy that creates the best jobs the free market," said Corbett.

The governor feels his proposed budget accomplishes the following:

• Reduces spending from last year, reducing the state government workforce by an additional 2 percent, eliminates 33 wasteful appropriations, reduces 181 additional line items and reduces the state vehicle fleet by 1,200 vehicles.

• Creates job opportunity by holding the line on taxes, supporting Pennsylvania's small and large businesses and focusing state efforts on workforce development and job matching.

• Increases funding to basic education, continues level funding for our community colleges and universities dedicated to job placement, and creates new programs that give students incentives for training for occupations that are in high need of employees.

• Levels funding for the Department of Corrections for the first time in a decade, increases the funding for PA Board of Probation and Parole to support transition from incarceration to community, provides funding for volunteer fire companies and provides funding for 115 state police troopers.

• Transforms the public welfare system by providing incentives to those who are able to transition from the welfare line to the workforce, providing real relief to our poor and safeguarding taxpayer dollars through the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse.

"I'm happy to be here to talk about jobs, the economy and how we can work together to build both," said Corbett.

Established in 1971, LVP is a state-of-the-art plastic fabricator, distributor, injection-molder and machining company. Sixty-five percent of LVP's customers are based in Pennsylvania and 70 percent of its raw materials are purchased from Pennsylvania-based suppliers. Currently, LVP employs 120 individuals and in 2011 they became a management-owned business.

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