Senator Vogel Urges Governor to Sign Budget

Proposal Reforms State Government, Increases Education Funding Without Raising Taxes

The Pennsylvania Senate today (June 30) passed a sweeping budget proposal that would increase funding for K-12 education and human services without raising taxes, according to Senator Elder Vogel.

Its passage comes on the heels of the announcement of an historic accord between the House and Senate that would privatize the state’s wine and spirits stores and reform the public employee pension systems, moving new hires into 401(k)-style retirement plans like those offered in the private sector.

Senator Vogel hailed the budget package as a major step forward for Pennsylvania and challenged Governor Tom Wolf to make good on his promise to deliver a “government that works,” a phrase the governor has often repeated while touring the state.

“We passed a good budget that does what Pennsylvanians have asked us to do. The budget package gets state government out of the liquor business, increases funding for education, and does so without raising taxes,” Senator Vogel said. “I urge the governor to sign it without delay. The Legislature has completed its duty to keep state government operational while living within its financial means. The only person with the power to shut down state government now is the governor.

‘The budget approved by the House and Senate includes a $100 million increase for K-12 basic education, $25 million for Pre-K Counts, $20 million for special education, $5 million for Headstart, and $1 million for our libraries.

“While Governor Wolf’s budget proposed to provide one school district, namely Philadelphia, with a whopping $150 million increase in funding, the Senate and House allocates out all new monies to schools through the new formula that was approved unanimously by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission.

“The legislature has taken the steps necessary to curb the unsustainable growth in school property taxes by reforming public pensions and transitioning new hires to a retirement system that is more in line with the private sector. As of now, school boards across Pennsylvania — and many in the 47th Senate District — are faced with a decision: either raise taxes or cut student spending in order to pay an exponentially-growing amount of dollars into the pension plans for public school teachers and employees. Senate Bill 1 takes the necessary steps to ensure that public school budgets are not consumed by ever-increasing pension obligations.”

CONTACT:               Cheryl Schriner

(717) 787-3076  


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