The State Senate approved and sent to the Governor on June 29th, a fiscally conservative, sustainable state budget that includes no new taxes and restores funding for key education and human services programs, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).
Senate Bill 1466, the Senate Budget Proposal was signed by Governor Corbett on June 30th. “This spending plan reflects the revenues we have available and does not mortgage our future to pay for programs and services we cannot afford,” Scarnati said. “The budget limits state spending but maintains strong state support for education at all levels and ensures that we have a safety net in place to help those in need.”
Senate Bill 1466 fully restores funding for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and State System of Higher Education schools. In return, the presidents of these institutions have agreed to keep tuition increases to a minimum – no higher than the Consumer Price Index.
The bill also includes more than $149 million in additional support for local school districts over what the Governor requested in February. It increases funding for the Education Improvement Tax Credit program by $25 million. The EITC offers the business community a tax credit for contributions made to scholarship and educational organizations, enabling parents to choose the best educational setting for their children.
Senate Bill 1466 also restores significant funding to help counties and local agencies provide essential social and health services and programs for Pennsylvanians with physical and mental disabilities, senior citizens and families.
“In these tough economic times you have to make difficult choices, but we also recognize that providing a quality education to kids and lending support to our neediest residents is a core responsibility of state government,” Scarnati said. “This budget reflects our continued commitment to reject excessive spending and tax hikes that could hurt our state’s economic future and our ability to compete. Instead, we are doing what working families do every day – living within our means.”