Harrisburg, PA − June 26, 2021 − The Pennsylvania state budget for the upcoming year is deficient at many levels, leaving more than $5 billion of unspent American Rescue Plan funds at a time when every level of society is in desperate need. Ultimately it received my vote.
While it doesn’t fund everything I advocated for, it does make many important investments:
- $30 million for community based gun violence prevention programs
- $300 million in new investments in basic education, with 2/3rds going through the fair funding formula, while $100 million is earmarked for historically inadequately funded schools like the Philadelphia School District
- $111 million for other key educational investments like Pre-K Counts, Head Start, special education, and early intervention
- $200 million for PASSHE schools, including the Diversity, Education & Inclusion program proposed by the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus
- $200 million for nursing homes
- $280 million for highway and bridge infrastructure projects
- $3 million for the food purchase program within Department of Agriculture
We still have so much more to do and have missed an opportunity to leverage the full effect of American Rescue Plan funds directed to Pennsylvania by the Biden Administration. I will continue to fight for those dollars to be invested in toxic school remediation, housing and utility assistance, public health and hospital support, job training and workforce development, and assistance for our small businesses.