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Senator Collett

Senator Collett holds a letter from a constituent that reads: “Dear Ms. Colett, My superintendent informd me that Vernfield has a money shorteg. Can you please donate some mony to VF?”

Harrisburg, Pa. – July 8, 2022 — Today, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 1100, the FY 2022-2023 budget bill, which was passed by the House yesterday and is now on its way to Governor Wolf for enactment. Senator Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks) voted in favor of this year’s budget and wishes to share her reactions:

  • “With an unprecedented revenue surplus and billions in federal ARP funds on the table, I fought hard for a budget that would bring about meaningful change for the people of the 12th District and all Pennsylvanians, for everyone who is struggling to stay afloat amidst record-high gas prices and housing costs, inflation, and the lingering effects of the COVID crisis. While this budget does not do all the things I had hoped it would, it goes a long way in addressing some of our most pressing needs, including many of the priorities my constituents have expressed to me, such as childcare costs, public school funding, mental health programs, public safety and gun violence prevention, relief for small businesses, and more.”

 

  • “This budget makes an historic $1.1 billion investment in education, including $79 million for Head Start and Pre-K Counts and nearly $80 million to the nine school districts I currently represent, a more than $10 million increase compared to current year. This budget also allots $90 million for the recruitment and retention of childcare staff and establishes a new tax credit for employment-related expenses, including childcare. These are huge wins for students, parents, teachers and schools. I heard from well over 1,000 constituents who told me education was their top budget priority – one elementary school student even sent a hand-written note advocating for her school. I can’t wait to share this news with her.”

 

  • “This budget provides long overdue assistance for our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including substantial increases to the popular Property Tax and Rent Rebate (PTRR) program and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), $250 million to create more affordable housing units, and $125 million for the new Whole Home Repairs program, which will provide much-needed financial assistance to homeowners in need of major repairs.”

 

  • “Pennsylvania’s healthcare workforce has been overworked and understaffed for years, creating recruiting and retention problems for medical facilities and quality of care problems for patients. In response to the ongoing crisis, this budget invests an additional $35 million in my Student Loan Relief for Nurses (SLRN) program, bringing the total investment to $55 million. This program received over 20,000 applications in its first year, spotlighting Pennsylvania’s student debt crisis and creating a framework to expand into other fields that are facing staff shortages, like teaching.”

 

  • “As we celebrate these hard-earned victories, let’s not forget that there was – and is – much more we need to do to address the Commonwealth’s many urgent challenges. While this budget is a great step forward, we can’t forget that many of these investments were needed to reverse years of gutting critical programs across the board, and many other programs did not receive the investments for which Governor Wolf and Democrats fought so hard during this protracted negotiation. There is a lot more work to be done, and by all indications, now is the time to do it. In addition to the over $4 billion in surplus revenue left untouched by this budget, the IFO announced just this week that for the fiscal year that ended June 30, the Commonwealth brought in over $6.2 billion more than expected.”

 

  • “While Republicans attempt to place blame for a late budget at the feet of Governor Wolf and bask in the glory of their perceived magnanimity, let’s not forget that the weeks of delays were caused by their unwillingness to invest in you and that the record investments in education, infrastructure and healthcare are a direct result of Democratic leaders who held firm.”

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