HARRISBURG — The State Senate voted today to restore funding to a number of programs that were vetoed by Governor Wolf in December, including critical funds for education, agriculture and rural hospitals, according to Senator Pat Stefano (R-32).
The budget passed today would increase state support for education by $200 million and restore much of the $6 billion in funding eliminated by the governor’s line-item vetoes. The $30.025 billion spending plan would utilize existing revenues without the need for a tax increase.
Senator Stefano said passage the budget is crucial because it finally allows Pennsylvania to move beyond the ugly nine-month budget impasse and begin working in earnest toward a responsible budget for next year.
Basic Education will see $5.95 billion in funding, an increase of $200 million from Fiscal Year 2014-15. The total also represents a $50 million increase over the funding vetoed by the Governor.
HB 1801 reverses the Governor’s line-item vetoes of funding for community colleges and the State System of Higher Education, while providing full funding for Pennsylvania’s State-Related Universities: Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln.
The bill would provide funds to preserve programs such as agricultural extension and research and 4-H that are currently in jeopardy since they were defunded by the Governor’s line item vetoes.
“Every day that this impasse is allowed to drag on, our communities and our schools suffer,” Stefano said. “It is within our power to make sure we avoid these dire consequences. I urge the governor to sign this budget and work with us to pass the next budget before the June deadline so that Pennsylvanians are not once again held hostage to his demand for higher taxes and spending.”
“Just this week I have met with groups of students, 4-H students, and county commissioners, all of whom have been affected by the Governor’s vetoes of the responsible budget we sent him in December. It’s time the governor stop using these vital entities as hostages in this budget impasse,” Stefano concluded
House Bill 1801 returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.
CONTACT: Ben Wren (717) 787-7175