HARRISBURG – The state House has approved a 2021-22 state budget that is fiscally responsible and respectful of taxpayers today and in the future, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).
“Just a few months ago, the governor called for a budget that would increase income taxes on individuals and small businesses, impose a new energy tax and substantially increase state spending,” Causer said. “I’m pleased to report we have rejected all of those proposals in favor of a fiscally responsible plan that focuses on the core functions of government and saves for the future.”
The $39.78 billion budget, when factoring in spending of federal COVID-19 relief dollars, represents a year-over-year growth rate of just 2.6%. It places $2.52 billion into the Rainy Day Fund to help prevent massive tax hikes or service cuts in the future. It also preserves a portion of federal COVID-19 relief funds for future budgets as the Commonwealth works to recover from the pandemic.
“The path to economic recovery is long, and it’s important to have funding available as we advance that recovery and plan for potential threats down the road,” Causer said. “We did the responsible thing in this budget by investing some of the federal money and setting the rest aside to meet future needs.”
Under the bill, funding for public education is increased, with $300 million more in basic education funding, $30 million more for early childhood education and $50 million more for special education. Also, $350 million in federal relief funds is designated to help address students impacted by learning loss due to the pandemic.
Additional federal money is being invested in road and bridge projects ($279 million); supporting nursing, assisted living and personal care homes in their ongoing efforts to protect against the pandemic ($282 million); and career and technical education ($44 million).
To support emergency medical services and boost funding for training, the budget includes $5 million in federal funds for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund.
The deadline for adopting the 2021-22 state budget is June 30. For more information about Senate Bill 255, visit here
Representative Martin T. Causer
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
67th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler