PRESS RELEASE: Union members oppose PA Senate tax cuts that will hurt our communities

Harrisburg, PA (May 8, 2024) – As Senate Republicans push a $3 billion tax cut scheme that would pour more money into the pockets of billionaires while diverting it away from vital public services, AFSCME members are urging lawmakers to refocus their efforts toward initiatives that would benefit taxpayers and our communities.

“In working as a public sector employee for over 25 years at one of the six veteran homes operated by the DMVA, I have seen the negative effects of the diminishing job positions at these facilities that care for the most vulnerable members of our communities. These are military veterans that we are talking about,” said Diana Stasko, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Hollidaysburg Veteran’s Home and President of AFSCME Local 906.

“Having too few workers to provide so many needed services for the people of our state is causing such a negative impact to the well-being of our Commonwealth’s citizens. No matter where your political views fall, this bill would negatively impact many of our local people.”

The PA Senate Rules Committee approved an amendment to Senate Bill 269 that would cost the state about $3 billion through drastic tax cuts, which would largely benefit the wealthiest individuals in the state. This was an amendment that Senate Republicans introduced at the last minute.

“A $3 billion tax cut to public services would be detrimental for workers and their families, and to families in need of these services to survive,” said Tomeka Jones-Waters, who represents employees in 23 public agencies as President of AFSCME Local 2587, and handles worker’s compensation for injured workers as a Clerical Assistant in the Department of Labor & Industry.

“Instead of giving tax cuts to the wealthy, invest that money in those who need it most.”

While we appreciate Senate Republicans acknowledging that the Commonwealth is not in a dire fiscal situation and showing interest in investing in Pennsylvanians, this harmful and misguided amendment is not the correct path for everyday working people.

It is reckless to propose such extreme cuts at a time when public investment is desperately needed for education, infrastructure, healthcare, veterans, services for the intellectually disabled, or even a cost-of-living adjustment for the state’s retirees who have gone without a raise for over 20 years.

AFSCME members and families are urging lawmakers to protect our communities and reject Senate Bill 269.


AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) is the largest affiliate in the AFL-CIO. AFSCME Council 13 represents tens of thousands of Pennsylvania state employees.