WEST CHESTER (February 4, 2020) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today issued the following statement in response to Governor Wolf’s 2020-2021 budget address:

“I strongly support the governor’s proposal to increase funding for public education. When it comes to the PASSHE system, we must also adequately support the institutions of higher education that are succeeding – like West Chester University – rather than enact changes that potentially penalize them by unfairly favoring others that are not succeeding. In addition, I have serious concerns about the impact that diverting significant resources from the horseracing fund may have on equine agriculture and related industries in Chester County.  

Regarding charter school support and funding, if passed, the governor’s proposed reforms would potentially have a major, positive impact on the Coatesville Area School District, which is currently facing an $11 million deficit. If the governor’s plan, as currently proposed, were to pass the legislature (where the majority tends to be charter-friendly), CASD would realize an additional $9.8 million in funding. If it doesn’t pass, CASD would see a state funding increase of approximately $450,000.

Finally, I was heartened to hear the governor address the need for stronger laws to ensure pipeline public and environmental safety. Many of the points he made echoed what I and others have been calling for over the past six years here in Chester County and Harrisburg. Specifically, I have sponsored and introduced a comprehensive package of bipartisan pipeline safety bills that call for intrastate regulation of pipeline placement and siting, the required sharing of vital pipeline information with nearby schools and local emergency first responders, adequate notification of construction for nearby residents, increased setbacks for schools and other buildings, automatic safety shutoff valves, and more.

I welcome the governor’s support and that of his administration and state agencies in getting these and other bills through the legislature, so that no other Pennsylvanians must face the uncertainty and potential threats to the health, safety, and well-being of their families that have become a fact of daily life along the Mariner East pipeline route in Chester County.”