HARRISBURG, PA − June 29, 2021 − State Senator Tim Kearney (D- Chester/Delaware) issued the following statement on his decision to vote ‘No’ for the state budget:
“Last Friday, just before midnight, the Pennsylvania legislature passed the 2021-2022 state budget. While there were some incremental wins in education – I voted ‘NO’ on this budget because it fell woefully short of what was possible and needed right now. I voted ‘NO’ because my constituents in the 26th District, along with all Pennsylvanians, simply deserve more.
While the Level Up initiative provided a $100M boost to our most inequitably resourced school districts, the general budget fell incredibly short of the Governor’s proposal to put all state education funding through the Fair Funding Formula. Additionally, the budget froze all school facilities activities and didn’t provide the necessary $600M in ARP funds to fix our most toxic, unventilated, or overcrowded school buildings. These choices continue the pervasive academic inequities in our under-resourced school districts and hurt our children’s chances to build prosperous careers.
I voted ‘NO’ to the missed opportunity to respond to individuals, families, local businesses and local responders coming out of a global pandemic. It failed to use federal ARP funds to provide relief for nonprofits, our caterers and our event businesses. And finally, on the heels of the most gut wrenching and devasting public health crisis in the last 100 years, this budget failed to make an historic investment in our public health infrastructure and programs. Rather than use funds to deal with the devastation from COVID-19, the legislature stole the funding to use to balance future budgets.
I voted ‘NO’ because I believe that Pennsylvanian’s deserve a budget that continues to prepare us for the future. This wasn’t our first pandemic and it won’t be the last. We needed a budget that gives Pennsylvanians the resources to build lasting and resilient communities for both today and tomorrow. I am committed to prioritizing and advocating for the needs of my constituents in the 26th Senate District.”