Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) joined a majority of her colleagues in passing a balanced, on-time budget that increases funding for education without raising taxes or borrowing.
“Currently, Pennsylvanians pay more in interest than the state of New York because our bond rating is so low,” Thomas said. “This budget takes a major step toward correcting that by growing the state’s Rainy Day Fund. This budget will deposit more than $250 million into what is the state’s main ‘savings account.’ And that will position us to avoid tax increases and borrowing in the future.”
The budget also maintains the grant money in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Keystone Fund, which Gov. Wolf proposed to transfer to the general fund. Thomas met with both House leadership and the governor’s liaisons to argue for the environmental grant program that is funding seven environmental programs in Thomas’ district.
“I’m pleased to announce that this budget preserves the Keystone grants,” Thomas said.
The budget keeps spending at $33.997 billion, a 1.8 percent increase over the current fiscal year, about the rate of inflation.
PreK through 12th-grade education funding is increased by $432 million, to the highest levels in state history. Special education funding would be increased by $50 million, while career and technical education would receive an increase of $10 million, with separate increases for some of our highest-performing technical schools, to help their pathways to success be utilized across the Commonwealth.
“This budget is a compromise between the Legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf,” Thomas said. “It shows what we can do by reaching across the aisle and working together.”