Philadelphia House Delegation appraises impact of Shapiro budget plan on city
Organization laid out goals and changes to its platform
Rep. Morgan B. Cephas March 17, 2023 | 12:50 PM
PHILADELPHIA, March 17 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today characterized Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed spending plan for 2023-24 as an ideal blueprint that can accelerate the pace at which the City of Brotherly Love could reach new levels of progress.
“Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal is perfectly aligned with the delegation’s core priorities for the city,” said Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas during a press conference held a City Hall. “Improving education, raising the minimum wage, and lessening gun violence through the Neighborhood Infrastructure Initiative are addressed in this plan.
“As we head into budget negotiations, we want to make sure that all Philadelphians are aware that this is an equitable proposal that will benefit our city. You can count on the delegation to bring adequate funds to the city; to invest in the most pressing issues affecting us as community once the budget gets signed,” she said.
Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, emphasized that the proposed plan shows Shapiro’s commitment to underserved families across the commonwealth.
“We are heading our city and state forward into a hopeful landscape by addressing key issues like workforce shortages and by investing $100 million this year in student mental health, so that schools can draw down the funding they need and use it to fund mental health care for our kids,” Burgos said.
“The budget also provides tax breaks for those who want to become cops, nurses, and teachers in Pennsylvania.
“Our Delegation is particularly excited about expanding the Property Tax and Rent Rebate to help 175,000 more seniors and disabled Pennsylvanians afford to stay in their homes.
“We also praise Shapiro’s proposal to provide sustainable funding for the Pennsylvania State Police through the creation of the Public Safety and Protection Fund. These are causes that we have supported and persistently championed for years,” Burgos added.
Rep. Jared Solomon, who is chairing the Philadelphia House Delegation Policy Subcommittee, shared top policy priorities of the delegation and spoke about the role of the legislative organization and its core mission.
“We are fighting for safe school buildings, a comprehensive rebuild and renovation program for Philadelphia public schools, addressing deferred maintenance, safety, and vital upgrades,” Solomon said. “We’re fighting for mass transit – supporting funding stability for SEPTA by allowing for greater local revenue in the capital and operating budgets.
“We are also focused on strengthening our democracy by keeping elections timely and secure and allowing early counting of mail-in and absentee ballots. And we are requiring elected officials to resign upon conviction.
“Our agenda is fair and extensive, it also includes preparing the state infrastructure for the future, re-working the energy portfolio standards and updating and securing the electrical grid.
“The Philadelphia Platform is a chance to unite elected officials around a strategy to uplift people out of poverty. We will work collectively through community investment and a legislative agenda to change the narrative in our city,” Solomon concluded.
Rep. Malcom Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, said that the delegation has been working on its organizational structure to boost the efficiency of their work.
“The recent changes in our structure allow us to resourcefully cover all critical areas of Philadelphia, as we advance legislation to improve the lives of working families,” Kenyatta said. “We want to make sure that we as delegation get a precise pulse from our city and foster a sense of community with our neighbors.”
The full press conference can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jihvHtozOo8&list=PLjtqNtfs0bgWRhIYb0li3MGDrmKJ4vEQ-&index=2
The full Philadelphia Platform can be viewed here: https://pahouse.com/files/Documents/2023-03-16_014440__0897_001.pdf