HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) today announced his support for the 2022-23 state budget that keeps spending in check and sets aside more than $5 billion in funding to protect against the anticipated economic downturn.
“My top priority in every single state budget is to be fiscally responsible while funding the core functions of government, including public safety, health care and education,” Causer said. “We have achieved that goal with this budget. And with the impending economic downturn and decline in state revenues projected by our Independent Fiscal Office, it is equally important to set money aside to help balance next year’s budget and save for a ‘rainy day.’”
Senate Bill 1100
saves for the future by keeping year-over-year growth in spending at 2.9%, compared to the more than 16% increase proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf back in February. It directs $2.1 billion into the Rainy Day Fund, bringing it to a historic $5 billion, and carries over more than $3 billion into the next fiscal year to address the anticipated drop in state revenue. Additional savings are achieved by paying off more than $2 billion in prior budget borrowing.
Along with overall fiscal responsibility, Causer’s budget priorities are focused on issues important to rural Pennsylvania. On the issue of health care, funding for critical access hospitals is consistent with the prior fiscal year, while Medicaid reimbursement rates for emergency medical services providers are increased. In an effort to encourage more people to enter the nursing field to staff our hospitals and long-term care homes, the budget invests an additional $35 million in federal funds into the Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program.
Basic education funding for all school districts is increased by $525 million, while special education funding is increased by $100 million, early childhood education by $60 million and career and technical education by $6 million.
The budget provides level funding to state-related universities, including the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and supports students attending any higher education institution by increasing the maximum grant from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency from $5,000 to $5,700.
Other budget highlights include a one-time initiative to offer increased rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program; increased funding for agriculture, especially to combat the spread of spotted lanternfly and avian influenza; and support for an additional 200 state troopers to protect communities throughout the state.
Senate Bill 1100
now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.
Representative Martin T. Causer
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman
67th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler