Senator Collett

Harrisburg, Pa. – November 20, 2020 — Tonight, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed SB 1350 and HB 2536, the 2020-2021 Supplemental Budget, and will be sending them on to Governor Wolf for enactment. Senator Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks) voted against the final budget and wishes to share her reactions:

  • “The Pennsylvania legislature has a duty to pass a financially responsible budget each year. It also has a duty to serve the best interests of the people of our great Commonwealth. I voted no on SB 1350 and HB 2536 because they are neither financially sound nor in the best interests of our citizenry. The House and Senate Republicans cobbled together a fiscal code (not made available to most members until last night) that siphons $1.3B federal CARES dollars into the general fund, raids special funds — including those set aside for environmental stewardship and volunteer first responders – and preserves a $242M rainy day fund to give the illusion that Pennsylvania is financially stable while ignoring the fact that we are in the middle of an ongoing economic and public health crisis that shows no immediate signs of slowing down. If there ever was a rainy day, that day is now.”
  • “While passing this budget before the November 30 deadline avoids the furloughing of thousands of state employees, it does nothing to address the urgent needs of the many Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania businesses still struggling as a result of the COVID crisis.”
  • “Despite a proposal offered by Senate Democrats to allocate remaining CARES dollars to small businesses, child care, hazard pay, public safety, higher education, hospital assistance, emergency utility assistance and food security, House and Senate Republicans made the deliberate choice to fold that money into the general fund instead. Why, when Republicans constantly paint themselves as such a friend to small businesses and first responders, do they keep making choices that leave them out in the cold?”
  • “More Pennsylvania families than ever before are entering the holidays worried about whether they’ll be able to afford the meals and gifts that make this season special, especially for their kids. Small businesses, especially restaurants, bars, and retailers, are seeing what’s normally their busiest season slip away because half their patrons won’t wear masks and the other half are afraid to be around them. Meanwhile, House and Senate Republicans got behind SB 1350 and HB 2536, which may look okay on paper but which they know helps practically no one. This is unacceptable and I will come back to session in January more resolved than ever to fight for every single Pennsylvanian slighted by this inadequate budget. “