(HARRISBURG) – Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) praised passage of the $33.9 billion Pennsylvania budget approved by lawmakers, citing the record level of state funding for public education, limited spending and no-tax increases. In addition, the budget does not include a fee for state police coverage in rural areas of the state.
“The 2019-20 State budget makes important investments in crucial programs across our state, while also respecting taxpayers,” Scarnati said. “We were determined to deliver an on-time, balanced budget with no-tax increases.”
The new state budget calls for $12.8 billion in education funding, the largest-ever state investment in Pennsylvania’s schools. Other important education investments include:
- Basic Education funding increased by $160 million
- Pre-K spending increased by $25 million
- Special Education increased by $5 million
- Early Intervention services increased by $15 million
“An investment in education is an investment in our future,” Scarnati said. “Students must have the tools necessary to compete and succeed in today’s workforce.”
Higher education is also a priority in the budget. Funding for State-Related Universities, the PA State System of Higher Education and Community Colleges will increase by 2 percent.
“Our fiscally responsible budgeting over the past years has helped to foster a stronger economy and has even allowed us to save $300 million in the rainy day fund this year. Taxpayers and families set aside money for tough times, and it’s the responsible thing for the state to do as well,” Scarnati stated.
Scarnati was also instrumental in securing funding in the budget for numerous programs that are important across the 25th Senatorial District, including:
- $7 million for the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College’s general operations
- $1 million for Mansfield University scholarship funds
- $250,000 for Lock Haven University to purchase medical equipment
- $3,346,000 for the University of Pitt Bradford’s general operations
- $900,000 for Galeton Dam renovations
“I am confident that this budget will set our state on a path toward more quality jobs, better government, and safer schools. Rural Pennsylvanians deserve to be treated equally and receive our fair share of funding. I am very pleased that this budget invests so much in our region,” Scarnati said.
CONTACT: Kate Flessner firstname.lastname@example.org 717-787-7084