Philadelphia, July 10, 2022 – State Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D-Philadelphia) today released the following statement regarding Senate passage of a $45 billion state budget for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year.
“As the newest member of the State Senate, I came into this budget process with a clear mandate from my district. My constituents wanted us to focus on public safety and provide financial relief they can feel when they sit down at the kitchen table. This budget accomplishes some of those goals, but we could’ve done more for the people of Pennsylvania.”
“During these negotiations, my top priority was to fight for every Philadelphian tired of living in fear because of the gun violence gripping our region. I believe this budget will make a positive impact on public safety. A $135 million increase for local law enforcement support will pay for technology upgrades, equipment purchases, and personnel costs. A $50 million increase for gun violence grants will make it easier to trace the firearms used to commit crimes and provide additional aid related to the investigation and prosecution of firearm related offenses.”
“Another key achievement of this budget is $75 million for violence intervention and prevention programs. These funds will subsidize the grassroots anti-violence organizations best positioned to tackle the sources of gun violence in their communities. Because mental health and public safety are inextricably linked, this year we’ll spend an additional $100 million on vitally needed adult mental health support.”
“We know the best way to invest taxpayer money is where it will do the most good – in our families, schools, and communities. That is why I voted to support an additional $140 million to increase property tax and rent rebate payments to homeowners and renters, $300 million for water and sewer infrastructure, $100 million for parks and recreation, $35 million for nursing student loan forgiveness, $250 million for nursing homes, care workers, and long-term living facilities, and $90 million for childcare assistance. These smart investments in people will create more financial stability in the short term and a better financial future for those currently struggling.”
“The truly historic part of this year’s budget is the $1.1 billion dollar investment in education from pre-K through college. This spending will enable our kids and communities to thrive, make schools safer, and allow local school districts to maintain or lower property taxes. $525 million for basic education, $225 million for chronically underfunded school districts, $100 million for special education, and $100 million for school safety represents a much-needed prioritization of our kids and the future of this Commonwealth.”
“These investments can be made because of sound fiscal management by Democrats. We can offer a helping hand to our constituents without raising their taxes. It’s not perfect. Because of the Commonwealth’s unprecedented revenue surplus, we should have done more to help working families and ease the economic pain they’re feeling right now. Failing to increase the minimum wage, make significant property tax reform, or institute a gas tax holiday will go down as missed opportunities to provide financial stability for the people we serve.”
“The progress we made with this budget is a good start, but I’ll continue to prioritize the kitchen table investments that will directly help Northeast Philadelphia and all everyday Pennsylvanians.”