Curry votes for state budget, cites 2nd largest infusion of school money

HARRISBURG, July 7 – State Rep. Gina H. Curry voted in favor of the 2023-24 Pennsylvania budget bill (H.B. 611), which now heads to Gov. Josh Shapiro for approval.

Shapiro is expected to line-item veto a controversial program added late by the Senate to divert public money to private schools, which is why Curry said that she ultimately felt safe to vote for the bill.

“The budget commits the second largest infusion of money to our K-12 schools in Pa. budget history, so it’s reassuring to know that a new Democratic House majority, a Republican Senate and a new governor can come together and pass a bipartisan budget in the right direction for Pennsylvania,” she said. “From here, we need to build on our bipartisan framework and deliver government that works for all of Pennsylvania.”

Curry said that while there is much more to be done in future budgets, this year’s also makes historic investments in public safety, health care, community and economic development, and much more.

  • $1 billion in K-12 education with the largest increase to basic ed funding in history.
  • $10 million for student teacher stipends.
  • Free breakfast for all students & expanded free lunches.
  • $50 million in whole home repair.
  • $20 million to fund the historically disadvantaged business program.
  • Investments in apprenticeships and vocational/technical education.
  • Funding for indigent defense for first time ever.
  • $20 million to counties to increase basic funding for mental health.

Meanwhile, other budget-related legislation in the House failed to earn a two-thirds majority to fund Pennsylvania’s state related universities.

“My staff and I have heard from many constituents concerned with the status of these measures. We cannot afford to play political games with our state’s higher education tuition funding — to do so risks the futures of Pennsylvania’s children,” Curry said.

“I hope that the Republican Caucus can realize just how important Pitt, Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln are to our life in PA before we head into the fall. I am here to vote to fund our state schools, not create panic for them.”