Merski supports proposed budget’s investments in education, career training, healthy schools

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, released the following statement today in reaction to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2020-21 budget address:

“How we spend our state resources determines the direction our state takes. When we invest in our people – from our students to our seniors – we all move forward. After hearing the governor’s proposed budget plan for the year ahead, I’m encouraged that it’s a plan that can move us in the right direction – without adding any new tax burden to residents.

 “I’m especially encouraged by the plan’s focus on education, including an additional $30 million to fund high-quality pre-K. As a teacher for many years, I know that a quality education is the starting point that lays the groundwork for all successes that flow later. When kids are given the right start, they achieve and succeed – and our entire state grows and prospers based on those successes.

“Equally important to classroom learning is a healthy school environment. I strongly support the governor’s proposed funding to address lead and asbestos hazards in our schools; the health of our students is paramount, and they can’t learn and thrive in a toxic environment.

“I’m encouraged that in addition to strong educational funding, the budget plan proposes strong continued investments in workforce development. Career and technical training provides invaluable hands-on learning and classroom-workforce partnerships that equip young adults with skills tailored to workplace demands.

“Finally, I support the proposed budget’s focus on protecting our environment through increased funding for state clean air and water initiatives, investments in our state parks, and other resources. We can’t thrive and prosper – nor can future generations – without a clean, healthy Pennsylvania.

“Of course, this plan is just a starting point. But I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to negotiate a budget that works for the families of Erie.”