Monday, June 29, 2015

Taylor Calls Budget ‘First Step’ to a Fair Spending Plan

Representative John Taylor
177th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster
June 27, 2015

Taylor Calls Budget ‘First Step’ to a Fair Spending Plan

HARRISBURG – Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) joined a majority of House members in passing a $30.18 billion state budget that’s balanced without any new or increased taxes.

“This budget vote is merely the first step in an on-going process to develop a fair spending plan,” Taylor said.

Taylor noted that he expects Gov. Tom Wolf will veto this bill, but believes it establishes a baseline from which to negotiate a budget that does the following:

  • Eliminates the $1.2 billion structural deficit  the administration and general Assembly agree exists so Pennsylvania’s credit rating is not further damaged and the state won't face additional budgetary problems in the future.

  • Advances educational dollars based on the New Basic Education Formula which will be more equitable and advantageous to Philadelphia. 

  • Distributes any new money in a way that corrects losses Philadelphia and other districts have experienced over the last five years, particularly due to the loss of the former Charter School Reimbursement line item that existed prior to 2011.

  • Limits any tax increases to those that are absolutely necessary to close the deficit, adequately fund education, and not implement the massive tax increases advocated by the governor.

“Again, I think that the passage of House Bill 1192 by the House and Senate will set the stage for meaningful negotiations with the governor.”

In its present form, the budget proposal also increases spending for basic education by $100 million, Pre-K Counts by $25 million, special education by $20 million, and increases spending on higher education by $41 million.   The $5 million additional funding for Headstart will help more than 3,500 children.

It also adds $5 million for the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program, which encourages businesses to provide funding for innovative educational programs in public schools. 

The budget also dedicate $96 million more for home- and community-based services, which will allow an expansion of services to more than 3,700 seniors.

This budget includes an 11.9 percent increase in funding for the Community Waiver Program that allows those with intellectual disabilities to live more independently in their homes and communities, and gives a 10 percent funding increase to domestic and rape crisis centers, and a 6.5 percent increase in funding to drug and alcohol centers.

“Again, while this proposal does some positive things without raising taxes, we will eventually get to a negotiated budget,” Taylor said.
House Bill 1192 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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