HARRISBURG, PA – February 6, 2024 – In response to Governor Josh Shapiro’s $48.3 billion budget proposal for FY 2024-25, State Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) released the following statement:
“Today is a great day for Pennsylvania. What we heard from Governor Shapiro during his historic budget address in the Capitol rotunda, was a commitment to investing in our education systems for students of all ages, the safety of our communities, the legalization of adult-use marijuana, and a prosperous future for every Pennsylvanian.
In the legislature, we know we have a commitment to address Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional and inadequate school funding system, and this budget makes a significant down payment toward righting the wrongs that have impacted countless students across the commonwealth, including in Philadelphia. Between the proposed $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding and the millions of dollars in investments to ensure safe and healthy schools, this is a step forward we can be proud of.
I’m also proud to see a $100 million investment to reduce gun violence. We know the prevention and intervention programs are working, and more funding is crucial to keeping that success going. We all deserve safe communities to call home, and I thank the governor for committing to these measures I have long advocated for.
I’m pleased to see Governor Shapiro’s push to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana. I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation this session to legalize it with my colleague in Erie this session. Not only will Pennsylvania benefit from the tax dollars brought in through legalization, but it also would correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalized communities, as well as the criminalization of personal choice and the perpetuation of violence.
Other key highlights from this budget are the economic development strategy, the long overdue raising of the minimum wage to $15/hour, and a complete overhaul of Pennsylvania’s higher ed systems.
Together, we have the potential to accomplish a lot this year, and this budget is a thorough and realistic blueprint to getting stuff done in Pennsylvania. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle to deliver results for every Pennsylvanian.”
Learn more about the governor’s proposed spending plan here.