PA budget includes 'unintended consequences'

By Dave Sherry

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 12:45 AM EDT

Montrose, P.A. (WBNG Binghamton) The United Way of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget hosted a town hall meeting to discuss what the latest proposal could mean for local communities.

This is the second stop of an annual statewide tour designed to educate the public and promote feedback.

Discussion focused on human services -- particularly education -- government and health services.

"Often we find that decisions are made in places like Harrisburg and Washington, but people don't always take the time to really realize that sometimes there's unintended consequences negatively on communities when those decisions are made, said Anthony Ross, president of the United Way of Pennsylvania. "So we see this as a vehicle of dialogue where folks who are on the front line can speak to policy makers about the decisions that they make and the real world impacts."

Ross continued to describe how public feedback can truly have an effect on issues like this.

"Often what a governor, not just Governor Corbett or any Pennsylvania governor, proposes in February is not necessarily what is enacted in June and often that is because of public input and public discourse. So that's part of why we're here today is to allow an opportunity for the public to provide input to the State Budget Office, but also to encourage them to speak to their state legislators and others about issues that are important to them," Ross said.

The ongoing sequestration in Washington, D.C. will have an impact on funding for these human service programs, so Ross encourages the public to reach out to their federal representatives to make sure their voices are heard.