Philadelphia House Delegation encouraged by Shapiro Budget Proposal

Governor calls for major investment in SEPTA, education, working Philadelphians

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7 – Today, leaders of the Philadelphia House Delegation said that they are pleased with the direction of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024-25. Among the many positives, the delegation is excited about the proposed investment in SEPTA and mass transit, as well as equitable education funding for the School District of Philadelphia.

Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., said that overall, Shapiro’s budget is a good start for Philadelphia.

“We know that we must get mass transit funding done now to save SEPTA from drastically cutting service and raising fares, which would cripple our entire region,” Cephas said. “The proposed investments in education, from equitable funding to ensuring healthy learning environments and providing feminine hygiene products at no cost to students, would put our students on a strong path for a successful future. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee under the Democratic Majority, I will advocate for the myriad needs of our city with the state agencies charged with implementing the proposals in this budget.”

Delegation Vice-Chairman Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., was happy to hear Shapiro’s enthusiasm to get a minimum wage increase completed for this first time in 15 years.

“It was great to hear the governor’s steadfast support for finally raising the minimum wage. It is long overdue in this state. The House has already passed a bill to get the wage to $15/hour; it’s time for the state Senate to get serious about making this investment in working Pennsylvanians,” Burgos said. “The focus on better jobs, improved schools, and the overall betterment of communities, demonstrates the governor’s strong commitment to fostering growth and prosperity.”

Delegation Treasurer Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., extended his appreciation of Shapiro’s commitment to working families.

“I share the commitment of my delegation colleagues in using this budget process to aggressively advance the need to invest in education, transportation, and gun violence prevention,” Kenyatta said. “I appreciate the governor for prioritizing those in his address. I look forward to working together on a budget Pennsylvania’s families can be proud of.”

Delegation Secretary Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., was responsive to the proposed increase in Whole Home Repair program funding, along with funding for mass transit.

“The Whole Home Repair program helps our seniors stay in their homes in comfort and safety.,” Hohenstein said. “It replaces basic necessities like appliances, windows and roofs. I am glad to see the governor focus on this program that will keep our neighborhoods together.

“SEPTA needs to get safer, cleaner and greener,” Hohenstein added. “We need to give it both the operating support – as the governor proposes with $160 million in this year’s budget; and capital support – as my House Bill1307 Local Share Funding bill would do. We have the infrastructure for a great mass transit system, but that system needs our investment to meet the needs of 21st century.”

Shapiro presented his budget proposal for 2024-25 on Tuesday in the Main Rotunda of the state Capitol. Budget hearings by House and Senate Appropriations committees with various state agencies will begin on Feb. 20.

View photos from the press conference

The full event can be viewed below.

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