Pa. House Approves $31.5 Billion Budget; Heads to Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Today, by a vote of 132-68, the House of Representatives sent a Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget to the Senate for consideration, House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) announced.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1073, will spend $31.55 billion, including $660 million in new funding for PreK-12 education without increasing sales or income taxes. The proposal raises new, recurring revenues from a mix of sources, including reforms to the liquor sales system, expanded gaming and a tax amnesty program.

Reed issued the following statement regarding House passage of the bill:

“Many of us worked together, in bipartisan fashion, to put a good and balanced budget together. We are investing in our schools by increasing PreK-12 and basic education funding by more than $250 million. The state’s share of school employee pension payments total another $345 million. All told, this budget increases the state’s share of school funding to a historic high of approximately $11.5 billion for PreK-12 education.

“This budget also deals with mandated spending increases in corrections, human services and public pension obligations – without placing a broad-based tax burden on residents or employers. For the second year in a row, we are standing up for Pennsylvania taxpayers by holding the line on the governor’s original tax-and-spend proposals. In fact, we cut $675 million from the Department of Human Services budget.

“The budget follows the bipartisan passage of important issues everybody has been talking about: wine privatization and modernizing liquor sales, reforming the public pension systems, as well as legalizing medical cannabis.

“We urge the Senate to pass the bill quickly and for the governor to sign it, in order to avoid another lengthy budget impasse.”

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