The state Senate today approved a fiscally responsible, sustainable state budget that does not increase taxes and restores funding for education and human service programs, said Senate Appropriations Committee Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte).
Senate Bill 1466 fully restores funding for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and State System of Higher Education schools. In return, the presidents of these institutions have agreed to keep tuition increases to a minimum – no higher than the Consumer Price Index.
“Restoring funding for higher education is a big win for residents across the Commonwealth,” said Corman. “Our public colleges and universities are one of the best resources we have for economic development and job creation. Additionally, state funding helps keep access to high levels of education open for individuals at all income levels.”
By fully restoring funding for Pennsylvania’s public higher education institutions, the schools have stated that they will now be able to keep tuition increases to a minimum. “Providing high quality education at an affordable rate directly impacts the budgets of everyone across the state who is contributing to these universities’ student costs,” said Corman. “I am very happy that we were able to work out this agreement with the universities.”
The bill also includes more than $149 million in additional support for local school districts over what the Governor requested in February. These moneys will assist the Commonwealth’s fiscally distressed school districts and restore funding for early childhood education programs provided through the Pennsylvania Accountability Grant program.
“The $27.65 billion spending plan is the result of a careful and thorough study of the Governor’s request and the trends we have seen in revenue collections,” Corman said. “It maintains state support for education at all levels and ensures that we have a safety net in place to help those in need.”
Corman said the budget is based on Senate Republicans belief that controlling government spending and rejecting tax hikes is crucial to moving Pennsylvania toward economic recovery.
“In these fiscally challenging times you have to make tough choices, but we also recognize that providing a quality education to kids of all ages is one of our most important responsibilities,” Corman said. “This budget includes funding to help counties and local agencies provide essential social and health services and programs for senior citizens and those with physical and mental disabilities.”