After reviewing the proposed budget and hearing the governor’s speech, I was struck by the lack of proposals to help Pennsylvania’s hard working, middle class families. Many of these families continue to be battered by record high inflation and there was little in the proposals to help them catch-up, let alone get ahead.
Given the recent commonwealth court ruling declaring our education funding systems unconstitutional, I thought this address was an opportunity to provide a down payment to reducing our public education system’s reliance on local school property taxes. The much-needed property tax relief would help countless families across Pennsylvania and start the process of creating a fairer system to fund our schools.
One priority where the governor and I are definitely aligned is the programs and spending around school-to-work, apprenticeship programs and increased investment in our career technical schools. These programs are proven to help create solid, family sustaining jobs in our communities. These investments make a lot of sense.
I recognize this is just a start of the process and the budget outlined the governor’s priorities. The real work begins now. We need to be mindful of our spending commitments because while the commonwealth is flush with money today, the outlying years project budget deficits. I share the governor’s hopeful vision for Pennsylvania and look forward to working on a budget that helps all Pennsylvanians.