Senator Nikil Saval

Harrisburg, PA − July 5, 2023 − Today State Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia) released the following statement on the passage of the state budget:

“Pennsylvanians deserve investment—in our homes, in our labor, in our schools, and in our public spaces. A thriving and vibrant Commonwealth is one in which these investments are not dependent on where you live but guaranteed for all.

“Last year, Pennsylvania created the nationally recognized Whole-Home Repairs program with one-time federal funding. This year, I am proud that, in the budget that will be sent to the Governor’s desk, Whole-Home Repairs is being funded with $50 million in state dollars and is now an official line item in our Commonwealth’s budget. This commitment in the General Appropriation bill means that Pennsylvania has laid the groundwork to make the Whole-Home Repairs Program an enduring feature. Whole-Home Repairs is a housing security initiative, an energy initiative, an anti-blight initiative, a jobs initiative, and a community safety initiative. The overwhelming demand for the program is proof that our government has acted to meet a material need.

“As important as the houses our children come home to are the schools where they spend their days. The way Pennsylvania funds education is unconstitutional—as our own courts have ruled. This budget creates a new voucher program to funnel $100 million in public dollars to private entities with little oversight and no accountability, deepening inequality. I oppose any and all efforts to privatize our public school system, and I look forward to Governor Shapiro vetoing the voucher portion of the budget, as he has pledged to do. Thank you to all the educational advocates who stood up for public schools.

“On behalf of our children and generations of Pennsylvanians to come, our government must do better. We must always ensure that public dollars go to public goods, and access to quality public education, safe and secure housing, and other rights, requires much more investment than has been given. This budget takes some steps in the right direction, but there is much more to do.”