BLOG: Throwback Thursday — Deficit Choices

first_imgBLOG: Throwback Thursday — Deficit Choices SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Budget News,  The Blog In his budget address to the General Assembly, Governor Wolf described the crisis facing our commonwealth and the two paths Pennsylvania can take: address our $2 billion structural budget deficit with sustainable revenue or cut a billion dollars from education and make serious, life-altering cuts to programs for seniors, the mentally disabled, crime victims and working parents.Republican reaction to the Governor’s dose of reality wasn’t great – choosing to boo and yell during his speech. Since the speech, Republicans have offered no clear path forward and no alternative to the governor’s proposals.The truth hurts. But the reality is that the legislature faced this same choice before and they know the politically convenient and expedient choice – to make drastic cuts – will hurt schools, vulnerable populations and property taxpayers in their districts much more than the Governor’s speech hurt their feelings.In 2011, lawmakers and the Governor had to address a substantial budget deficit.And they made a choice. Republican majorities in the House and Senate, along with the administration, chose to cut. And their cuts had dire consequences for Pennsylvania’s kids, the most vulnerable in our state, and local homeowners, who saw local property taxes skyrocket.In 2011, they chose to make “deep cuts” to education, human services and economic development, including “cuts of about $1.1 billion to public schools and universities.” They eliminated AdultBasic – taking health security away from tens of thousands of working Pennsylvania families.At the time, the Associated Press said: “Overall, the plan will reduce money for public schools by roughly 10 percent — with the poorest districts sustaining the biggest blows — and by nearly 20 percent for state-supported universities.”In 2012, they went down the same path – cutting human services funding for counties, which provide aid to seniors, the mentally disabled, those struggling with addiction and domestic violence and rape victims.Here are the real programs they chose to cut: Mental Health Services; Behavioral Health Services; Intellectual Disabilities Services; Child Welfare Special Grants; Drug and Alcohol Funding; Homeless Assistance Program; and the Human Services Development Fund.Based upon a survey conducted by the County Commissioners Association, the impact of these cuts to county human services was dire for people who need help the most:89% indicated they had to cut back essential social services;63% indicated they had to cut an entire programs; and34% indicated had to lay off those on the front-lines helping the most vulnerable.These cuts didn’t just hurt our schools. They didn’t just leave vulnerable Pennsylvanians without services they need. Their choices forced nearly $1.2 billion in property tax increases by school districts and county governments left to figure out the mess.If we want schools and the most vulnerable to suffer and our property taxes to rise, we can choose this path again.But Republicans must be honest about the consequences. This is not political points – it is the cold, hard reality that we’ve seen damage Pennsylvania before.Let’s choose the path that makes Pennsylvania stronger by fixing the deficit and investing in our schools and our children. By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretarycenter_img You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter all this week.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: February 11, 2016last_img read more

Warriors continue to clamp down on Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari

first_imgTypically a forward, the versatile Green played 21 minutes and finished a team-high plus-nine in the 113-105 defeat. He finished with six points, going 1 for 2 from the field, making his only 3-point attempt and three of his four free throws.“He’s another big who can stretch the floor,” the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley said. “Doc did a great job of making the adjustments, and as a unit, we were able to switch a little bit more, get stops, run. … (But) we kind of put him in a bad position with (Warriors center Andrew) Bogut.”Acknowledged the 7-foot Bogut: “They went very small, they started the game with Green at the 5, so we knew we had the rebounding advantage, especially for me.”Bogut pulled down 10 rebounds and Green grabbed two – and a pair of guards shared leading rebounder honors: Steph Curry and Beverley also finished with 10 apiece. Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Additionally, the freebies Gallinari works so hard for have been harder to come by: The NBA’s fourth-best regular-season foul shooter (90.4 percent) is finding the playoffs less charitable.In four first-round games, he’s made 19 of 21 free throws but has gotten only 5.3 attempts per game. In the regular season, Gallinari averaged 5.4 free throws made per game on six foul shots per game.Still, the Clippers are keeping the faith in their Italian standout as they try to extend the series.“Gallo’s a pro, he knows what he needs to do to get going,” said Lou Williams, who also has felt the Warriors’ defensive bite, scoring a total of 28 points in the past two games after scoring a combined 61 in the series’ first two.“(Gallinari is) gonna come out, he’s gonna play hard next game,” echoed Wilson Chandler, a forward who this season was reunited with Gallinari on their third team together. “Gallo’s a pro.”STARTING GREENSeeking help creating space to work with offensively, Clippers coach Doc Rivers inserted the 6-9 JaMychal Green into the starting lineup at center Sunday in place of Ivica Zubac, who didn’t play.Related Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory In the regular-season, Gallinari hit 51.9 percent of his “wide open” 3-pointers, or those taken with a defender positioned 6 feet or farther away, according to And 17 percent of his 3-point attempts in the regular season were of the wide-open variety.But during this best-of-seven first-round series – the Clippers trail 3-1 with Game 5 on Wednesday in Oakland – Gallinari hasn’t been nearly as good when he’s gotten those really good looks. More than 23 percent of his 25 3-pointers this series have been of the wide-open variety, and only 26.7 percent of them have gone in.“The playoffs are … a different deal for everybody,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You’re so much more locked in defensively. You can see what the Clippers are trying to take away with our 3-point shooting, and that’s what we’re trying to do to them, too.“We know what a huge factor and key Gallinari is for them, so we’re doing our best to try to pressure him, stay in front of him and challenge every shot, because when he has big games, the Clippers generally win. He’s a real key for them.” LOS ANGELES — The Warriors have made life heck on Danilo Gallinari.The Clippers have been clear about their need to get Gallinari going; conversely, top-seeded Golden State understands that as Gallo goes, so go the Clippers.And so the two-time defending NBA champs have focused much of their substantial defensive energy on slowing the Clippers’ normally steady scorer, shading defenders his way, quickly sending help, using their great length to impede his progress.They’ve got the 6-foot-10 forward fighting so hard that he’s even fighting himself on open looks.last_img read more

West Indies should win World T20

first_imgIt might sound paradoxical, but in a strange way, Twenty20 cricket has emerged as destroyer and saviour of West Indies cricket.Destroyer in the sense that it has effectively captured the hearts and passion of an entire generation of regional players, who could not care less about playing traditional Test cricket, saviour in the sense that the very same heart and passion for Twenty20 cricket by the modern players have led to us producing some of the best Twenty20 players in the world, which has resulted in the West Indies now having one of, if not the best, Twenty20 teams in the world.It is absolutely refreshing to see the West Indies entering an international tournament as genuine contenders. I will go even further by stating that the West Indies should win the World T20. The 15-man squad heading to India is full of tried and proven matchwinners.I have counted at least 10 individuals in that squad who, on any given day, can single-handedly win a game against any opposition. I venture to say there are more potential and proven matchwinners in this West Indies squad than in any other squad, including India, playing at home, and the powerful Australians.CLICKING ON ALL CYLINDERSThe objective must be for the entire team to click on all cylinders and produce overall matchwinning performances game after game but, realistically, that is not going to happen. The more realistic ask is for at least one of our stars to put their hand up and produce one match-winning performance in every single game.It should be an understanding in that West Indies dressing room that at least one of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, Jerome Taylor, Sunil Narine and Kierron Pollard, pending availability, be obligated, by professional responsibility, to produce at least one big performance per game.The eligibility of Narine will be the key. The psychological impact of having our mystery bowler in the team will be immeasurable, even if the adjustments to his bowling action affect his execution even at 60 or 70 per cent Narine will still be a real threat.Pollard has been out of cricket for a while, but he is such a physical specimen and natural athlete, a perfect fit for this explosive format of the game, his reintroduction could very well be seamless. Worst case scenario should these two are unavailable, there is the emerging Carlos Brathwaite and Johnson Charles, a member of the 2012 winning team, both waiting in the wings.I have said and written some mean things about West Indies cricket in recent times, all justified and fair, in a context where the Windies continue to embarrass the people of the region in the longer versions of the game. I am now a full convert from traditional Test and ODI cricket to T20, as far as the West Indies team in concerned.The importance of winning this particular title, at this point in time, is crucial for the West Indies cricket brand. The sooner we realise and admit that we are a hopeless and pathetic embarrassment in Test and ODIs, it should be clearer to all that winning the World T20 would mean so much more to the region and its people, as they yearn to stand tall and proud again. GO WINDIES!last_img read more