Merski supports proposed budget investments in education, workforce training, vulnerable residents

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address today.

“I believe Governor Wolf’s budget proposal moves us in the right direction by investing more money in our schools, including additional dollars into pre-K through post-secondary programs. 

“While the infusion of Level Up funding has been helpful and will continue to bring critical resources, it is not sufficient to level the playing field for Erie students, who for decades have been forced to try to compete with fewer resources. We need to make fair education funding a priority now, to give our students the opportunities they need and ease the burden on taxpayers.

“On a related note, I support the governor’s proposed investments in additional workforce training and apprenticeship programs, which are critical for ensuring that the commonwealth remains competitive, and proposals to assist the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy.

“Finally, I applaud the governor’s proposed investments in more funding for skilled nursing facilities for our seniors and in behavioral health programs. Those investments will be a welcome relief to programs that have struggled for years to gain sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents.

“Of course, these are just proposals. In the months ahead, I will be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle – and in my new position as chairman of the Northwest Delegation – to make sure that any final plan benefits Erie and protects our taxpayers.”