– Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) has announced the passing of a fiscally responsible and strong bi-partisan $42.8 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23, which he supported. This budget ensures that there will be no tax increases or new taxes. Overall, it represents a 2.9% increase in spending over the prior fiscal year.
“Standing Up for Taxpayers” has long been the Republican motto, and the money being deposited into the Rainy Day Fund proves that Republicans are committed to their word. This year, $2.1 billion will be deposited to save for the future, totaling an historic $5 billion now available in the state’s Rainy Day Fund in anticipation of future financial needs. The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal office is predicting revenue deficits in the next two fiscal years, which the Rainy Day Fund will help address.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals have struggled to stay afloat, and the current inflation devastation has only made matters worse. This budget will provide funding to those who need it most to get back on their feet and will help drive natural economic growth.
“Overcoming the challenges the pandemic posed has not been easy for millions of Pennsylvanians,” Bonner said. “With this budget, we hope to help get our residents back on their feet and investing in our communities again. We have also started down the path of reducing the nation’s highest corporate net income tax to hopefully attract new business development in Pennsylvania and grow the economy.”
House Republicans also remain committed to Pennsylvania’s schools and the students they serve with a $525 million increase in basic education. This budget sets a record high $7.6 billion investment in preK-12 education. “Our students are our future, and it is important we invest in them,” Bonner continued. “This funding will ensure that schools can keep property taxes low while providing a stellar education for our youth. On average, each school district will see an 8% increase in state funding. One hundred million is also being given to the schools to address student mental health services and school safety measures. There will be an extra $225 million given to assist the 100 poorest school districts and a $100 million increase in special education funding increasing its overall spending to $1.3 billion.”
Protecting the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians is a priority. The 2022-23 budget provides funding for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, those with intellectual disabilities, families and children in need, veterans and EMS responders.
The state budget also funds the largest environmental program in a decade, and increased support for the agriculture industry and poultry industry, infrastructure, law enforcement and public safety, health care and the administration of elections. It prohibits the use of private funds to pay for elections, which occurred in 2020, but provides $45 million in state assistance to counties to run elections this year. It also pays down state government debt in advance.
“Overall, this budget advances the health, safety and welfare of all Pennsylvanians in a fiscally responsible manner. I was pleased to support it,” said Bonner.
For more information, visit pahousegop.com/statebudget