HARRISBURG – After voting in favor of a $40.8 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 that supports Pennsylvania’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) released the following statement:
“This is a responsible budget that prioritizes fiscal responsibility and protects taxpayers while also investing in our communities and schools. It supports highway and bridge improvements, restores all of the governor’s proposed cuts in funding for agricultural programs, and makes a strong commitment to our teachers and students.
“The budget includes $300 million more for Basic Education Funding, $50 million more for special education, $25 million more for Pre-K programs and $5 million more for Head Start. It ensures schools can operate safely and addresses student needs resulting from the pandemic.
“Additionally, $2.5 billion will be dedicated to the Rainy Day Fund. This will help to protect Pennsylvanians from future tax increases as they continue to recover financially from the governor’s detrimental pandemic response. After more than a year of Gov. Tom Wolf’s closures, many individuals permanently lost the businesses which they invested their time and life savings, leaving them in survival mode. By making the responsible decision now, we are shielding Pennsylvanians from being further burdened.
“We cannot simply spend the additional federal funding provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic without understanding that it does, in fact, come out of hard-working taxpayers’ pockets. This is not free money that fell from the sky. We must be thoughtful and respectful of how it is spent, making sure that we spend it in such a way that we maximize its value for taxpayers.
“In the last year, many families had to make difficult financial decisions – including families who were not in the position previously. It would have been wholly inappropriate if we did not approach the state budget with the same seriousness.”
CONTACT: Colleen Greer, 717-787-1463