HARRISBURG – In one of her first major votes in Harrisburg, Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) supported the no-tax-increase budget plan for fiscal year 2019-20, which the state House approved today and would increase funding for the core functions of government.
The nearly $34 billion spending plan represents a spending increase of 1.8% compared to the current state budget.
After the vote, Mustello made the following comments:
“This budget does not ask taxpayers to send Harrisburg more of their hard-earned money and keeps spending below the rate of inflation. In my first term as a state representative, I vowed to my constituents that I would not ask them to reach any deeper into their pockets, so I am pleased the plan we passed today honors that commitment. Thanks to recent economic growth, we were also able to invest in our classrooms and put some money away in the Rainy Day Fund.
“One of my top priorities is education. It is a moral obligation of the Legislature to ensure every child has a safe and quality education. PreK-12 education funding is increased by $432 million to the highest level in state history. Basic Education Funding increases by $160 million. Special education funding increases by $50 million, the largest increase in two decades. Also, career and technical education receives additional funding as does the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. EITC provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to a scholarship organization, an educational improvement organization, and/or a PreK scholarship organization.
“The opioid crisis is another top priority for me. Addiction touches all ages, genders and socioeconomic statuses, and people need assistance. I am pleased that we are adding an another $1.5 million to equip our first responders with Narcan, a medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. We need to provide a range of treatments to help people live a life free from addiction. I believe this budget allocates the necessary resources to combat these problems.
“My constituents want more money for people with disabilities and now they will have it. This budget reflects an additional $26.3 million for mental health services, which includes $12 million for a 2% increase effective January 2020, for home care workers who care for seniors and those with physical disabilities.
“In an effort to protect our state’s largest industry, agriculture, we need to make a significant investment in this area. Our state’s farmers will see an additional $19.5 million in funding in this budget, including the creation of an Agriculture Business and Workforce Investment program, ensuring new farmers have the tools they need to succeed in the Commonwealth.
“House Republicans are focused on training the next generation of workers, and growing Pennsylvania’s economy to create new jobs and career opportunities for our residents. We are also concentrating on providing efficient, effective and sustainable services and systems to ensure a high quality of life for the safety, prosperity and wellness of our residents. I was pleased to vote on a budget that stands up for the taxpayer.”
House Bill 790, the General Appropriations bill, now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Marci Mustello
11th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)