Senate Majority Whip Comments on Rendell’s Budget Cut – Impacting Quality of Life for Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ — In response to Governor Ed Rendell eliminating funding for the Black Fly Control and Research Program in his proposed budget, Senate Majority Whip Jeff Piccola (R-15) issued the following statement:

“This is shocking news. I am certain that all residents of the state join me in dismay over this proposal. Eliminating this program is both short- sighted and insensitive, and once again calls into question this Governor’s leadership and sincerity.

“Pennsylvanians enjoy a much higher quality of life because of black fly suppression. The program enables us all to enjoy the outdoor activities that we cherish. Whether one lives along the Susquehanna River, the Allegheny River, the Delaware River, or any one of the other tributaries and waterways across the state, this program gives us a level of freedom from May through September that cannot be replaced.

“Black Fly control and suppression is a joint program between state and county governments. Almost half of all counties participate in the program, demonstrating its core value. With 1,700 miles of state waterways treated annually, nearly every Pennsylvanian benefits either at home or in their travels.

“In addition to hampering outdoor activities of residents, this irresponsible and short-sighted budget cut will have major ripple effects on tourism. Our tourism industry is the second largest in Pennsylvania, providing tens of billions of dollars in revenue and sustaining hundreds of thousands of jobs. Opportunities for tourism growth cannot be replaced, and cutting black fly control undermines our efforts to promote this great destination.

“All Pennsylvanians should be offended. Not only will their quality of life be circumvented once again by the Governor, but this proposal also implies that he does not intend to spend time here this summer enjoying the wonderful place we call home.”

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