HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today approved it’s $33.99 billion 2019-20 state budget that increases funding to public schools, libraries and agriculture, among others, without raising taxes. The funding portion of the budget now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), who cast his vote in support of the budget, issued the following statement:
“The budget we passed today supplies increased funding to important areas of government all while holding the line on taxes. All school districts in the 79th Legislative District would see a boost in funding, and this budget makes key investments in career and technical education (CTE). Specifically, the CTE line item would be increased by $7 million and $3 million is earmarked for equipment grants to ensure our future workforce has the needed tools so they can learn their trades.
“This budget helps ensure students receive a good education and it also works to supply funding so our students can learn in a safe environment. School Safety grants are once again included in the budget and would be funded at $60 million. Public libraries across the state would see a $5 million increase in financial support.
“We were able to not only reverse Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed cuts to the agriculture industry, Pennsylvania’s top industry, but increase funding by $19.5 million. These are all investments to help secure the future of Pennsylvania.
“Another key ingredient in improving Pennsylvania is to protect residents from tax increases. This budget doesn’t include a tax increase, nor does it impose any new taxes. Since before I took office, House Republicans have been, and continue to, fight against unneeded tax increases. The result of this work, coupled with federal tax cuts, is a roughly $800 million budget surplus. This allows us to put upward of $300 million into the Rainy Day Fund to protect taxpayers from potential tax increases down the road. The contribution to the fund, as well as changes to the bond process, will also reduce future state debt.
“The budget includes many things I believe will benefit the residents of the 79th Legislative District. I also believe we can do more to stop spending increases. Eliminating the General Assistance Program, which has little to no oversight on how doled out funds are spent, is a start.”
For more information on Schmitt and his legislative priorities, please visit RepLouSchmitt.com
Representative Lou Schmitt
79th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross