HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) today joined a bipartisan majority of her colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing the 2021-22 state budget bill. The $39.78 billion proposal increases education funding to historic levels without raising taxes while making a record deposit into Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund.
“This is a no-tax-increase budget, which is very important right now. The governor had been pressing for increases in taxes and we were able to reject his proposal. As Pennsylvania exits the pandemic, we want to be very careful with how we spend taxpayer dollars because it is not the government’s money, it is the people’s money,” said Toohil. “We have been able to take from the federal coronavirus relief dollars as well as from an unanticipated increase in tax revenues and deposit more than $2.5 billion into the Rainy Day Fund, bringing it to an all-time high. A lot of people are going to be talking about the large amount of state money that is available, saying we should ‘spend, spend, spend.’ However, we need to take a more thoughtful approach to protect taxpayers and that is what this budget does.”
The spending plan supports educational opportunities for children throughout Pennsylvania, whether they attend a public, charter of private school with a record high allocation of $13.55 billion for PreK-12 education.
“Hopefully, the increase in education funding can help to hold the line on property taxes at the local level,” Toohil added. “This budget includes higher funding amounts for PreK-Counts and Head Start, which is going to be very important for children in the Commonwealth who have just been through the worst year of their young lives. We want to make sure to prepare these children to succeed when they advance to elementary school.”
“Finally, I am pleased this budget includes $282 million in federal relief funds to continue to provide assistance to nursing homes, assisted living and personal care homes for their COVID-19 mitigation efforts and the protection our most vulnerable citizens,” concluded Toohil. “This budget is fiscally responsible and keeps Pennsylvania headed down the road to economic recovery. I look forward to seeing it signed into law by the governor before the June 30 deadline.”
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives