Harrisburg, June 29, 2016 − State Sen. John N. Wozniak (D-Cambria/Bedford/Clearfield) released the following statement after the Senate passed a $31.53 billion General Fund budget plan.
The Senate-revised plan (Senate Bill 1073) includes $200 million more for basic education, $20 million more for special education and includes significant funds for Pre-K and Head Start. The plan also includes a 2.5 percent increase for higher education and $15 million to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic. The Senates version of the budget is $21 million less than the version of the bill passed by the state House.
The budget passed the Senate 47-3 and now returns to the state House of Representatives for its consideration. Wozniak voted in favor of the legislation.
Wozniaks comments on the passage of Senate Bill 1073 follow:
Pennsylvania has significant fiscal challenges and our citizens have deep-rooted needs that must be addressed. The budget plan that the Senate adopted today is responsible and was structured as a compromise that can meet the state budget deadline. It stretches dollars to cover mandated expenses and does not rely on a broad-based tax increase.
The bipartisan plan was crafted with input by Republicans and Democrats and it was developed so that Pennsylvania could avoid another budget impasse while meeting critical needs. As important, it makes key investments in basic and higher education and maintains important social safety net programs.
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time there was little agreement and plenty of discord about the budget. This year, there is compromise. Work is getting done. The result if that this budget plan addresses key initiatives in education and social services while investing new dollars to combat opioid abuse.