ISSUE | PENNSYLVANIA BUDGET
A product of compromise
The passage of Pennsylvania's general-fund budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year represents something that is becoming all too rare in government - compromise ("Budget funding deal is reached," Thursday).
From Philadelphia to Mifflintown to Erie, our state is blessed with diverse geography and population. This diversity is a strength of our commonwealth, but it can also make governing difficult.
The budget makes key investments in education, holds the line on spending, and doesn't raise the personal income or sales tax. The budget spends $31.6 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion from last year. Of that increase, $1.2 billion is for mandated and contractual obligations. Gov Wolf's original budget proposal would have spent $33.3 billion.
The budget spends $11.4 billion on education for prekindergarten through 12th grade, an increase of $666 million. It includes $38.3 million for colleges and universities, a 2.5 percent increase; $15 million to help treat heroin addiction; and funding to train 180 new state troopers.
I was proud to work with my colleagues in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the governor on a fiscally responsible budget that makes key investments in education. This budget puts the people of Pennsylvania first.