HARRISBURG — Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today after supporting a bipartisan 2015-16 state spending plan that could put an end to the prolonged budget stalemate in Harrisburg.
“The budget framework offered a way for lawmakers to finally move forward and get funding flowing to essential government services to ensure the doors of our schools and critical social service agencies remain open. Although the spending plan approved by lawmakers is by no means perfect, the final product offered a way for members of both parties to set aside our differences and unite behind the common goal of creating a sustainable spending plan that finances the core functions of government.
“While I had hoped for a more modest spending proposal, I am thankful that the final agreement trimmed more than $1.1 billion from the governor’s original spending request presented to lawmakers in March. Community residents made it clear to me that the governor’s original plan was a non-starter for our region. The final agreement presents a much more viable approach to the problems facing southwestern Pennsylvania. The $1.5 million in new funding to combat the state’s growing heroin epidemic and the additional $460 million invested in pre-K, Basic Education and higher education should provide noticeable results for our communities.
“The spending plan is only one component of a broader budget framework that includes meaningful pension reform, potential long-overdue changes to liquor laws and a funding mechanism to support new investments in education. I am hopeful the General Assembly can move forward toward all of these goals over the next several days and finally put an end to an ugly chapter in Pennsylvania politics.”
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463