Schlossberg likes Shapiro’s proposed investments in education, mental health, mass transit

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg praised today’s state budget address by Gov. Josh Shapiro for its dedication to education, mental health and mass transit.

“Gov. Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget sends a strong message about the importance of meeting our moral and constitutional obligation to make world-class public education available to every student in Pennsylvania, regardless of zip code. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to do our part to unlock student potential throughout Pennsylvania with what could be history-altering commitment to public education,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

“Gov. Shapiro’s approach mirrors the recommendations set forth in the Basic Education Funding Commission’s proposal approved in January. We know the problems. Urban districts like Allentown and rapidly growing districts like Parkland are grossly underfunded. We know the solutions: dedicate the resources to invest in our students. Now it is up to us to get to work.

“America is in the midst of a mental health crisis, and it is not going away until we dedicate the resources needed to provide the care people in crisis need. Gov. Shapiro’s proposal for more money targeted at 988 crisis lines, counties, and schools will certainly help people find care. Still, I will continue to press for additional resources to address the workforce issues providers face because mental health care requires adequately paid staff to deliver it.

“Gov. Shapiro’s proposal also includes the framework for preserving and potentially expanding mass transit in Pennsylvania. This is often seen as an issue for Pennsylvania’s biggest cities, but in Parkland and Allentown, thousands of workers take the bus to work every day and we have a responsibility to make sure they get there on time. Additionally, I constantly hear about a desire to expand passenger rail service to the Lehigh Valley. I can promise those hopes and dreams will be dashed if Pennsylvania is not able to, at a minimum, preserve existing service in the Lehigh Valley. We have a lot of work to do for passenger rail in our region, but the quickest way to kill it before the federal government can consider it, is to strangle LANTA’s service and leave its existing passengers with terrible service.

“Pennsylvanians have a right to expect government to work. The years of gridlock and acrimony need to end. Gov. Shapiro’s budget is a starting point. I like a lot of it. My colleagues who do not like it have a responsibility to put forward something that delivers for our students, people who need mental health care, workers, seniors, and taxpayers who look to us to make sound investments,” Schlossberg said.