HARRISBURG, February 5, 2019 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today released the following statement regarding Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed $34.1 billion state budget:

“I applaud Governor Wolf for his continued dedication to the issues and programs that matter most to all Pennsylvania residents. The 2019-20 state budget continues to prioritize the importance of a quality public education; the need to develop and maintain a skilled workforce; and the urgency with which we need to combat the statewide opioid crisis.”

“Locally, we have experienced firsthand the problems caused by underfunding our public schools. This budget invests an additional $200 million in basic education funding and it is my hope that this will continue to bring us closer to a more fair and equitable disbursement of state funds to all of our school districts. The budget also continues to increase support for early childhood education which can only pay dividends for our state and save on corrections expenditures in future years.”

“I am also pleased that the Wolf Administration continues to take a leadership role on career readiness and job training – issues which have been among my top priorities since taking office in 2011.  The only means by which the Commonwealth can remain economically competitive is in developing a skilled and well-educated workforce.  This budget continues meaningful investment in the PASmart initiative – which focuses on computer science education; job training; and apprenticeships and the Governor expects greater coordination between state agencies and our business community to ensure we can meet the demand for labor going forward.”

“The budget also continues to show compassion and offer assistance to families and friends struggling with addiction.  The opioid epidemic has ravaged the state at all social and economic levels.  While we have made progress in our fight against it, this budget dedicates additional resources to the programs and services which have proven effective in curbing its effects.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle over the next few months to ensure that our final 2019-20 budget is a responsible and progressive plan for the future of our Commonwealth and all of our citizens.” 

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