New State Budget Invests in Schools, Begins to Reinvent How State Government Works, Reed Says
HARRISBURG – Taking up the challenge to deal with a deficit and potential $3 billion shortfall, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan budget to begin the process of reinventing Pennsylvania government. Without raising income or sales taxes, the budget provides additional funding for key education and public safety programs.

The budget bill, House Bill 218, passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 173-27, according to House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana).

“This budget is the latest example of the bipartisanship that has resulted in several legislative accomplishments in recent months to benefit all Pennsylvanians, including public pension reform to help curb spending growth,” Reed said. “We were able to provide a historic level of funding for our schools and continue the fight against the opioid epidemic without placing a heavier burden on our taxpayers.

“We have begun the process of a government reinvention – plotting a new course for Pennsylvania, punching holes in bureaucracy and pushing the focus on government’s core functions. While this budget may not be perfect, it accomplishes many core goals of which we as Republicans and Democrats stand together. This bipartisan budget looks to address the major cost drivers that continue to plague our budget situation year after year.”

The new $32 billion spending plan includes $11.86 billion for PreK-12 education without the need for increased income or sales taxes.

All school districts in Indiana County will receive additional state funding, totaling $91 million,  under the spending plan for basic education, special education and Ready to Learn Block Grants. This budget also provides the state’s share of district Social Security and pension expenses.

Locally, this year’s budget would provide school districts the following funding:
•    Blairsville-Saltsburg – $15.6 million, a funding increase of $359,839.
•    Homer-Center – $8.4 million, a funding increase of $168,228.
•    Indiana Area – $11.3 million, a funding increase of $267,016.
•    Marion Center – $17.5 million, a funding increase of $560,247.
•    Penns Manor Area – $11.13 million, a funding increase of $237,177.
•    Purchase Line – $13.71 million, a funding increase of $304,685.
•    United – $13.4 million, a funding increase of $253,024.

The budget also includes a 2 percent funding increase for the State System of Higher Education (SSHE), which would have an important impact on Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). All told, the new state budget provides the SSHE with $444.2 million.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk. Legislators will return to the Capitol next week to finalize the necessary revenue sources and other budget-related legislation in order to complete the 2017-18 spending plan.

Representative Dave Reed, Majority Leader
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Share |