HARRISBURG – Working to provide financial relief to school districts and social service agencies impacted by the prolonged budget impasse, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) today voted for a three-bill “stop gap” budget package and sent the measures to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The move is the latest effort by Senate Republicans to help schools, counties, municipalities, agencies and contractors that saw their state payments end on July 1 after Governor Wolf vetoed House Bill 1192 (the Fiscal Year 2015-16 general fund spending bill) on June 30 — almost immediately after its passage by the General Assembly.
“Even though 70 percent of the spending items in the budget we passed were the same or greater than what he proposed in his own budget, Governor Wolf chose to veto the entire bill, cutting off funding for schools and human service agencies that rely on state funding,” Bartolotta said. “Adopting the stop gap budget is the only option to keep these funds flowing. Through his veto and failure to compromise, Governor Wolf has already denied more than a billion dollars in funding to Pennsylvania schools. Additionally, many agencies that serve our neediest citizens are cutting critical services, laying off employees or taking out bank loans.”
The three-bill package — Senate Bill 1000 (Stop Gap Appropriations Act), Senate Bill 1001 (Fiscal Code Budget Implementation) and House Bill 224 (Public School Code) — that Bartolotta voted for provides $11.2 billion in state allocations. That represents one-third (four months) of the state funding as authorized by HB 1192 with limited exceptions.
The stop gap budget also allocates the federal money Pennsylvania administers for schools and local governments.
“This stop gap budget provides essential funding for many vital programs and services, including schools, domestic violence survivors, rape crisis centers and students who depend on PHEAA loans,” Bartolotta said. “Schools and human services agencies should not be used as pawns in the budget impasse. They need to continue being funded throughout this process.”
To view Senator Bartolotta’s comments on the need for a stop gap budget click here.
CONTACT: Collen Greer (717) 787-1463