Culver Says State Budget Reflects Needs of Citizens
HARRISBURG – Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) said today she is pleased that the $27.15 billion budget passed by the House today reflects the needs of Pennsylvania’s citizens while also being responsible with taxpayer dollars.

“This budget represents many difficult decisions in terms of spending priorities; however, the main focus of this plan was to right-size government and bring spending in line with actual, recurring revenues we have available,” Culver said. “At $27.15 billion, this budget is one that controls spending, as evidenced in that it is even lower than the proposal unveiled by the governor in March. In fact, it is 4 percent, or $1 billion, less than the 2010-11 fiscal year budget.”

Culver said a compromise was reached to help restore many of the education funding reductions proposed earlier this year. Without federal stimulus funding, she noted, some schools believed they were receiving less from the state, but the final budget actually gives the school districts more in the Basic Education subsidy than in previous years. More than $10 billion will be put toward basic and higher education.

Restorations of funding from the governor’s earlier proposal were also made for higher education. State-related universities will receive 81 percent of last year’s funding, and the State System of Higher Education, which includes nearby Bloomsburg University, will receive 82 percent of its funding last year.

“These universities knew that without stimulus funding, they would see cuts, but were not prepared for the 50 percent-plus cuts outlined earlier this year,” she said. “My colleagues and I place a high value on education, and that is why we wanted to see restorations for both basic and higher education.”

Although she is pleased to see state revenues starting to rebound from the once-weakened economy, Culver emphasized that the unanticipated revenue this spring shouldn’t be spent just for the sake of spending.

“The Commonwealth is faced with billions of dollars in debt and hundreds of millions of dollars in a lawsuit stemming from the previous administration raiding an account that rightfully didn’t belong to the state,” she said. “This revenue shouldn’t be burning a hole in our pockets; it should be used responsibly to pay the debts we are facing.

“Having adopted this budget by the June 30 deadline – for the first time in many years – is a clear indication that my colleagues and I take seriously the work of the people,” Culver said.

Contact: Jennifer Keaton
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