Day Adds Support to Responsible, On-Time State Budget
HARRISBURG – The 2012-13 state budget, voted by the state House Thursday, is a balanced plan that responds to the needs of citizens while being responsible to taxpayers, said Rep. Gary Day (R-Lehigh/Berks).
According to Day, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the $27.656 billion budget does not contain any new or increased taxes and is done before the June 30 mandated deadline.
“Earlier this year, I was named to the House Appropriations Committee, which is charged with drafting the state budget,” said Day. “Being part of the process gave me a unique insight to all of the many challenges involved in putting together a plan that meets the core functions of government while being responsible stewards of state taxpayers’ money. I am pleased with the final result that achieves level funding for K-12 education, state-supporter higher education, and health care, along with several agriculture line items.”
While the state’s 500 public school districts will each receive the same amount as they did last year, some will see increases through the state’s Accountability Block Grant program, which offers flexible funding to schools for programs such as full-day kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and other priorities important to local schools.
Higher education institutions could have faced significant cuts on top of budget reductions from last year. Instead of a 20 percent cut for state-owned universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and 30 percent for state-related institutions, they will be funded with the same amount as last year. This is especially important as Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is located within the 187th District and is a huge generator in the local economy.
Much of the budget negotiations focused on county-based human services funding. The governor had proposed a 20 percent cut earlier this year, and the General Assembly was able to restore 10 percent of that proposed reduction. To further help, this new budget will direct $17.8 million to reduce the waiting list for those with intellectual disabilities.
The new budget takes effect July 1.
State Representative Gary Day
187th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton