As we near the end of June, I am pleased to share that my colleagues and I in the state House have been working hard to put a budget plan in motion and have passed a General Fund Budget, which features no new taxes, no tax increases and no additional fees.
The budget proposal focuses on several key priorities to stand up for hard-working Pennsylvania taxpayers and protect their hard-earned money today and in the future. Some of the highlights of the budget proposal include:
• Saving for the Future: At the top of the agenda is saving money and growing our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Thanks to smart budgeting, the proposed budget has taken an historic step by committing 100% of the General Fund balance at the end of June 2019, which is estimated to be about $250 million, and transferring it into our state’s primary “savings account.” This account will be used when the economy hits a downturn and revenue collections are weak. When times are good, we want to take advantage and save money for possible future times of need.
• Educating for Success: Education funding in this state budget is the highest in Pennsylvania’s history. This budget proposal commits an additional $432 million to preK through 12th-grade education. As chairman of the House Education Committee, I believe these investments empower Pennsylvanians to educate for success and create better opportunities for family-sustaining careers for every resident of the Commonwealth.
• School Safety: This budget proposal authorizes a second year of school and community security grants with a $60 million investment.
• Human Services: This budget proposal adds an increase of $26.3 million for mental health services.
• Police and Protection: State police will see an increase of funding by $97 million, and an additional $9.7 million for three new classes of cadets.
• Agriculture: Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s No. 1 industry. In this budget proposal, ag programs will receive a 12.8% increase.
Although negotiations will continue with the Senate and governor before a final plan is enacted, I feel confident this proposal sets the right tone and priorities for the 4th Legislative District and our state.
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Brooke Haskell