There Goes $11-million for Our Schools

Earlier this week, Governor Corbett asked where he was supposed to get the money to fund public education in Pennsylvania. Yesterday, he signed into law a new Voter ID bill, which does not appear to solve any actual problem in the state, will most certainly face expensive legal challenge, and worse, will cost taxpayers an estimated $11 MILLION to implement.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center reports that other states have faced “substantial financial burdens” after passing similar laws: “Indiana, with about half as many registered voters as Pennsylvania, adopted a voter ID law in 2005 and spent $12.2 million over four years implementing it. Missouri has estimated voter ID legislation would cost $17.4 million over three years to inform its 4.1 million registered voters of the new requirements. Independent estimates for a proposed North Carolina law range from $18 million to $25 million over three years.” (May 2011 report)

Even taxpayers who are not outraged by the new law’s attempt to disenfranchise voters should be incensed that the Governor is signing new legislation expected to cost our state $11 MILLION. He says, “We are reducing the funding in education because we do not have the money — it’s that simple.” (See “The Old Divide and Conquer Tactic“) No. What’s simple is not passing unneeded laws that spend more money while proposing additional devastating cuts to our schools at the same time. $11 MILLION would pay for a whole lot of teachers.

Note to the Pennsylvania legislature: it’s time to focus on real problems in the state – like reversing the proposed budget cuts to public education – not imaginary ones that waste taxpayer money.

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