Jun. 28, 2019

House Approves Budget with No New or Increased Taxes

I voted this week in Harrisburg for the state budget bill approved by the House that would fund the core functions of government, set aside money in the state savings account and includes no new or increased taxes.

This budget is focused on taxpayers and enabling them to keep the money they earn. By holding down state government costs, we can enable Pennsylvanians to keep more of their hard-earned money in their wallets.

The $34 billion state spending plan would provide a more than $400 million increase in funding for schools across the Commonwealth.

Through a combination of state and federal revenue, funding for child care services and child care assistance both would increase under the plan adopted today by the House.

The budget also would build on recent career and technical education initiatives that were approved by the House. The spending plan would increase career and technical education funding by $7 million.

We want Pennsylvanians to be able to learn the skills necessary to earn a family-sustaining salary at a good-paying job. We’re working to help employees acquire the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

Funding for the Department of Agriculture would increase by nearly $20 million in the budget approved by the House.

Agriculture is our Commonwealth’s No. 1 industry and this budget would make strategic investments in this important sector of our economy. Farmers are the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy and this budget would support their important work.

The state budget also would set aside more than $250 million into the state’s version of a savings account, or Rainy Day Fund. The state sets money aside in this fund during good years to avoid tax increases in future, leaner years. The fund was drained during the recent economic downturn, and my colleagues in the Legislature and I have been committed to replenishing this account to protect taxpayers in the future.

We’re taking steps today to protect taxpayers against a tax hike in the future. Instead of spending every penny the state has, we are setting money aside for the future, just like families set money aside for emergencies.

The budget legislation – House Bill 790 – has been approved by the House and Senate. The governor must sign the bill in order for it to become a law.
Fish for Free on Independence Day

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is hosting the second of its two annual Fish for Free Days on Independence Day, Thursday, July 4.

This is a great opportunity to try your hand at fishing in any of Pennsylvania’s waterways, even if you don’t have a license.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Just make sure you follow all other fishing regulations.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.
Independence Day Reminders

A few important reminders as you plan to celebrate our nation’s independence next week!

If you are traveling, check out 511pa.com. Free and available 24 hours a day, the site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

PennDOT will also close its driver license service centers on Thursday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through  PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!