Proposal includes record level of education funding
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) joined a bipartisan majority of her House colleagues in passing the 2019-20 state budget proposal on Tuesday. House Bill 790 increases education funding to historic levels while keeping spending growth in line with the rate of inflation and without raising taxes or fees for hard-working Pennsylvania residents.
Toohil issued the following statement regarding the $33.99 billion spending plan:
“The work we’ve done in recent years to control spending and hold the line on taxes has contributed to Pennsylvania’s improving economy. That trend continues with this budget proposal, which adequately funds our priorities without placing a heavier tax burden on families and seniors.
“Because of our fiscal restraint, we are able to deposit about $300 million into the Rainy Day Fund, adding to last year’s $22 million payment, which was the first installment in more than a decade.
“We continue to focus on providing students with a quality education. This budget raises school funding to record levels. In fact, this spending plan sets a new high of $12.8 billion for preK-12 education.
“There is an additional $160 million included for basic education, $50 million more for special education and a $25 million increase for early childhood education. There was also $25 million added to a program that allows for school choice. In addition, we’ve included $60 million to continue funding school safety grants for districts statewide.
“This budget frees up tens of millions of dollars for highway and bridge projects by reducing the amount of funding to be shifted from PennDOT’s Motor License Fund to the state police, which will receive an additional $97 million from the General Fund and nearly $10 million for three new classes of cadets.
“This budget continues our work to create economic opportunities for all Pennsylvanians and bring greater prosperity to every corner of the Commonwealth. I look forward to seeing it signed by the governor before the June 30 deadline.”
House Bill 790 is currently under consideration in the Senate.
To watch a video of Toohil’s budget comments, visit youtu.be/3RMgsSsY-hk
The 2019-20 budget provides local school districts with the following funding amounts. The subsidies include basic and special education, Social Security, retirement, Ready to Learn block grants and transportation:
• Berwick Area – $23.7 million, a funding increase of $534,578 (2.3%).
• Crestwood – $14.8 million, a funding increase of $315,593 (2.2%).
• Hazleton Area – $69 million, a funding increase of $2,497,327 (3.8%).
• Northwest Area – $10.9 million, a funding increase of $143,064 (1.3%).
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office