“This is a responsible budget that includes no new taxes and keeps spending in check while funding the core functions of government,” Causer said. “This is the kind of budget Pennsylvanians need…one that will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money rather than sending billions more of it to Harrisburg through increased sales and income taxes, as the governor had proposed.”
The budget once again prioritizes funding for public education, providing $100 million more for basic education funding, $20 million more for special education and $30 million more for the Pre-K Counts and Head Start programs. Funding for higher education is increased as well, including $2.5 million for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, an increase of more than 8.7 percent over the current year.
Causer also noted funding to support rural health care, with nearly $5.7 million designated for the state’s critical access hospitals.
As chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Causer said he is also pleased to see a restoration of funds for key programs such as hardwoods research and promotion, agricultural research and more.
House Bill 1192 now goes to the Senate for consideration, and lawmakers intend to have the budget on the governor’s desk before the June 30 deadline. However, the first-term governor has indicated he may veto all or part of the plan.
“I hope the governor takes a closer look at our budget and considers the weight of the tax burden our residents already carry,” Causer said. “Not one member of the General Assembly voted to support his tax plan when it was brought up for a vote earlier this month. Nearly $5 billion in new spending in just one year is not responsible budgeting, and it’s not in the best interest of Pennsylvanians.”