Snyder: Budget not ideal, but a solid step forward for Pennsylvania

Lawmaker says fiscal details still in play but no increases in sales, income tax

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said a spending plan now before the governor is a workable compromise on key issues such as education funding, taxes, human services and funding programs and services to counter the opioid addiction epidemic.

“The budget is not ideal – and paying for it is a work in progress – but it is a drastic improvement over the budget impasse that crippled the state for nine months,” Snyder said. "Senate Bill 1073 represents what Pennsylvania needs -- a plan that does not contain a broad-based tax increase yet allocates needed resources for public education and to mount an effective battle against opioid abuse.”

Snyder said the $31.6 billion plan features an additional $250 million investment in education, with $200 million more for basic education, $25 million more for pre-K, $5 million more for Head Start and $20 million more for special education.

“The plan makes continues the process of restoring the $1 billion in cuts made five years ago that devastated our public schools and clobbered property taxpayers," Snyder said. “It also provides a 2.5 percent increase for the 14 state-owned universities and our state-related colleges such as Pitt and Penn State.”

Snyder said basic education funding increases proposed for local school districts are:

  • Carmichaels -- $148,092, 2.2 percent;

  • Central Greene -- $164,869, 2 percent;

  • Jefferson-Morgan -- $114,511, 2.1 percent;

  • Southeastern Greene -- $72,800, 1.5 percent;

  • West Greene -- $123,288, 3.8 percent;

  • Albert Gallatin -- $536,827, 2.4 percent;

  • Brownsville -- $308,508, 2.6 percent; and

  • Bethlehem-Center -- $107,260, 1.2 percent.

“The increases over and above what the districts received last year are not spectacular,” Snyder said. “However, the new investments for schools is a positive step forward considering the state’s difficult fiscal situation."

Snyder hailed the bipartisan support to expand the state’s fight against opioid abuse and addiction.

“We must invest in education, intervention and treatment or risk losing more of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children to this tragic addiction,” said Snyder, one of four lawmakers named to a special task force on opioid addiction. “Both parties have taken a stand to lead Pennsylvania from addiction to recovery.”

Snyder said the spending plan also includes:

  • Significant new funding to reduce waiting lists for home- and community-based services to help seniors stay in their own homes and to help adults with intellectual disabilities stay in their communities;

  • Funding to provide three more state police classes to add up to 180 new troopers;

  • Payments to the state’s retirement systems for employees and teachers; and

  • Bolstered funding for services for victims of domestic violence and for rape crises centers.

“We are avoiding a repeat of another disastrous impasse and allocating precious resources to education and the fight against addictions,” Snyder said. “While the revenue side of the equation still must be hammered out, schools, human services and others who rely on passage of a state budget won’t be left hanging for months, and taxpayers will not be facing sales or income tax increases.”