Harrisburg – The state Senate today passed a 2015-16 state budget that significantly increases education funding without raising taxes, said Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), who supported the spending plan.
The plan, House Bill 1192, was passed in advance of the June 30 constitutional deadline to enact a state budget. It also includes fundamental changes to the state’s pension and liquor systems.
“This budget increases support for education without the governor’s $12 billion in tax hikes over the next two years,” said Mensch. “Like Pennsylvania families, state government must live within its means, and this budget represents that approach.”
The budget contains:
- No new taxes or tax increases.
- $100 million in new state dollars for basic education that is combined with reforms to the basic education funding formula and improvements in accountability.
- $20 million more for special education.
- $30 million more for early education, including Pre-K Counts and Head Start.
- $300 million in savings for the state and school districts to pay for capital improvements.
- $50 million increase for higher education institutions.
- $10 million to increase home and community-based services for 1,075 individuals with intellectual disabilities – 1,000 on the waiting list and 75 from institutions.
- $27 million to expand the number of individuals served through the Home and Community-Based Services (3,750), Services to Persons with Disabilities (1,100) and Attendant Care programs (660).
The budget includes savings that will be realized by privatizing the sale of wine and liquor, and by reforming the state pension systems. Pension costs are the number one cause of property tax hikes and school cutbacks.
“This budget is on time, on point and on the way to the governor’s desk. I urge him to set aside politics and sign it,” said Mensch.
CONTACT: Sarah Stroman firstname.lastname@example.org (215) 541-2388