McNeill leads rally to call for responsible budget

WHITEHALL, Aug. 20 – State Rep. Daniel McNeill, D-Lehigh, led officials from across the Lehigh Valley in calling for a responsible state budget during a rally Wednesday evening at the Westgate Mall in Bethlehem.

McNeill was joined by Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Northampton County Councilman Scott Parsons. Also in attendance were teachers, labor members and leaders, and senior citizens who are concerned about the lack of progress in passing a responsible budget.

“People across the state are being crushed by high property taxes and our children have been hurt by cuts in education funding,” McNeill said. “This rally is to show that people support the governor’s vision for our state, and we will fight for them. I organized this rally because I am really angry that our residents are suffering and we can’t accomplish what we are elected to do, which is pass a budget that helps all Pennsylvanians.”

McNeill said he and his Democratic legislative colleagues are committed to passing a 2015-16 state budget that addresses the core issues facing Pennsylvania: fixing the structural budget deficit, helping a drastically underfunded school system, implementing a severance tax on natural gas drilling, and reducing rising property taxes for seniors and middle-class families.

“After four years of budgets that shortchanged schools, increased property taxes and relied on gimmicks and one-time revenue sources, we need a budget that reverses that damage,” McNeill said. “My colleagues and I refuse to vote for a budget that includes more of the same bad budgeting. We stand with Governor Wolf and his plan to turn Pennsylvania around.”

School supplies were collected at the rally, which will be distributed to students in need in his district.