Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) today in Harrisburg voted for Senate Bill 255, the General Appropriations portion of the state budget, which was approved by the House of Representatives. The 2021-22 Pennsylvania budget would spend $39 billion in General Fund dollars, and $1 billion in federal relief funds, to fund the core functions of government services, prioritize education and support Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, all while avoiding any new or increased taxes.
The spending plan would increase basic education by $300 million, early childhood education by $30 million, and special education by $50 million. Additionally, to support children who have suffered educational losses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget allocates $350 million in federal relief funds for learning loss, summer enrichment and after-school programs.
“This budget continues our trend of investing in our children by allocating a record $13.5 billion for PreK-12 education,” said Culver. “I’m also very happy to see that all school districts in the 108th District will receive increased funding for the support and resources our students need.”
Recognizing the ongoing costs related to COVID-19 mitigation, this budget allocates $282 million in federal relief funds to help nursing homes, assisted living and personal care homes with costs related to personal protective equipment, staff testing and other pandemic related costs. This budget also includes money to provide services for people living with intellectual disabilities as well as community-based services for older Pennsylvanians.
“Our nursing homes and assisted living facilities were absolutely rocked by COVID-19,” Culver continued. “As they continue to fight and struggle through this pandemic, we are duty-bound to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
In addition to keeping taxes level, the budget would secure Pennsylvania’s fiscal future by depositing more than $2.5 billion into the Rainy Day Fund and preserving more than $5 billion of federal funds to be used in future budgets.
“After what we saw when previous administrations were quick to spend leftover federal stimulus funds from the 2008 recession, we are working to avoid repeating history,” Culver said. “As we have seen over the past year and a half, anything can happen. We need to be prepared for if, and when, it does.”
Senate Bill 255, once signed in both the House and the Senate, will be sent to the governor for his signature.
For more information about this legislation, or any other state-related issue, contact Culver’s district office in Sunbury located at 106 Arch St., by calling 570-286-5885, or toll-free at 1-800-924-9060. Information can also be found online at LyndaCulver.com
Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe