Pa. Legislative Black Caucus holds budget information session with state Budget Secretary Jen Swails

HARRISBURG, March 31 – Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. Donna Bullock and PLBC Subcommittee Chair of Budget Equity Rep. Napoleon Nelson this week held a budget information and listening session with members of the PLBC and featured guest speaker state Budget Secretary Jen Swails.

The discussion centered on state budget priorities for Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color communities across the commonwealth and concerns as well as suggestions for how the state budget could be fair and equitable. The PLBC plans to use the information from the listening session to formulate a response and requests for upcoming state budget negotiations.

"We heard from business leaders, educators, advocates, and parents from communities of color across the commonwealth,” said Bullock, D-Phila. “We will use this information to inform our budget priorities as a caucus and advocate for equitable state investments in our communities. We can’t continue doing the same things when addressing the budget and expect a different outcome or result."

"We do not take lightly the obligation to fight for the residents in our commonwealth who have known suffering, poverty and inequalities for generations,” said Nelson, D-Montgomery. “Leaders from these many communities came together to speak to their needs and seek our support. We have heard their call, and we will respond. The Legislative Black Caucus Subcommittee on Budget Equity will continue to work alongside our legislative committees and key community stakeholders to make sure Pennsylvania’s budget reflects our priorities."

Founded in 1973 by then-Majority Leader K. Leroy Irvis, PLBC supports its members so that they may be more effective in their districts and in the Capitol, and works to advance, or when necessary defeat, legislation that impacts the lives of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color communities in Pennsylvania. In addition to Budget Equity, the PLBC has five other subcommittees: Health Equity and Justice, chaired by Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila.; Education, chaired by Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware; Women and Girls of Color, chaired by Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila.; Gun Violence and Public Safety, chaired by Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila.; and Voting and Democracy, co-chaired by Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila.