PA House Democrats Central PA Delegation lauds Shapiro’s budget proposal; shares several priorities

HARRISBURG, March 8 – The newly formed PA House Democratic Central Pennsylvania Delegation issued its first statement today by commending Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2023-24 state budget. The delegation’s members share several top budget priorities with the governor.

“I conferred with our delegation members after yesterday’s budget address by Governor Shapiro and was heartened to learn they believe he spoke on initiatives that would have a great positive impact on their constituencies,” state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, chair of the delegation, said.

“Establishing equitable funding for all our public schools became a priority for our members after the Commonwealth Court’s long-awaited ruling earlier this year,” Hill-Evans continued. “That ruling gave us the green light to finally establish a fair school funding formula that works for all students – not just those who happen to reside in Pennsylvania’s wealthier ZIP codes.”

She said delegation members were also heartened to see Shapiro broach issues on which they’ve drafted soon-to-be-introduced legislation, including:

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program: Expanding the program for seniors and disabled residents would help keep these vulnerable communities safe in their homes and remove their burden of worrying about keeping the roof over their heads.

Safe schools: From helping kids cope with trauma to helping local law enforcement protect them in the event the unthinkable occurs, the delegation shares the governor’s goal of making schools safer for both students and educators.

Assisting veterans with mental health issues: Mental health disorders (such as PTSD) that increase an individual’s likelihood of high-risk behavior are common among veterans. Allowing incarcerated veterans diagnosed after imprisonment, and perhaps sentenced inappropriately as a result, to apply for a post-conviction review would be a compassionate step they deserve.

Investments in small & minority-owned businesses: Minority- and women-owned small businesses bring value to the commonwealth but continue to face barriers to state funding. Implementing the Historically Disadvantaged Business Program would support their growth and help mitigate these inequities.  

“Along with my fellow delegation members, I’m ready to get to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make these commonsense proposals work for Pennsylvanians,” state Rep. Manuel Guzman, vice chair of the delegation, said.

The members of the PA House Democratic Central Pennsylvania Delegation are:

Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, Chair (York)

Rep. Manuel Guzman, Vice Chair (Berks)

Rep. David Madsen, Secretary (Dauphin)

Rep. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, Treasurer (Berks)

Rep. Scott Conklin (Centre)

Rep. Justin Fleming (Dauphin)

Rep. Patty Kim (Dauphin)

Rep. Mark Rozzi (Berks)

Rep. Ismail “Izzy” Smith-Wade-El (Lancaster)

Rep. Mike Sturla (Lancaster)

Rep. Paul Takac (Centre)