Wheatley issues statement on budget passage

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding the passage of the 2021-22 state budget:

“It is amazing how we do things in Harrisburg. Since the beginning of last year when the pandemic first started to shut our society down, all we have heard from Republicans was the need to support our businesses, communities, schools and essential workers.

“However, fast forward to today. With above-projected state revenues of over $3 billion and the support from President Biden and Democrats in Washington, D.C. through the American Rescue Plan, we have available over $10 billion in surpluses and federal aid to help our businesses, communities, governments, schools and essential workers recover and set them on a better course than before the pandemic hit.

“What we are hearing and seeing in Harrisburg, instead, is a budget plan that puts billions of dollars that were supposed to be delivered to our citizens into a savings account – and they think hard-working Pennsylvanians aren’t looking. Republicans want to horde money that was sent to support our schools, essential workers, and out-of-school programs. They want to control and hide these funds for their secret pet projects instead of giving it back to the residents of this great commonwealth.

“These are your tax dollars, and they are meant to provide support to your family and you, now and in the future. This is not their money to hold for some time in the distant future for priorities that they want!  

“Pennsylvanians, it’s time to demand your money be returned to you and investments made to fix our schools, support real solutions for fighting violence and crime, and help our young people and families with investments in childcare services, mass transit, workforce development and business development.”