PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania House Majority Leadership is praising Gov. Josh Shapiro’s first budget address, which prioritizes important issues that the House Democratic Caucus has long championed, including supporting public schools through increased investments, improving the health and safety of communities and building a stronger workforce and economy, all in a fiscally responsible way and maintaining a $5.1 billion Rainy Day Fund.
“Governor Shapiro’s budget is a roadmap for strengthening Pennsylvania’s communities, economy and schools,” said House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “His plan creates a solid foundation for the House and Senate to work from in crafting a spending plan that serves all Pennsylvanians.”
“Governor Shapiro’s budget address sets a positive tone for our commonwealth, and I’m encouraged by the investments in education, workforce and our communities,” said House Majority Leader Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery. “House Democrats look forward to working with the governor and with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, to enact a budget that addresses our needs now and gives us the space to address the challenges ahead. This budget proposal provides us with a path to accomplish both.”
“Today’s speech by Governor Shapiro is the first step in a process that I’m confident will lead to a budget that improves the lives of all Pennsylvanians,” said Rep. Jordan Harris, House Democratic Appropriations Committee chairman, D-Phila. “From investing in our students and their education and well-being to ensuring seniors can stay in the home they’ve spent their lives in, we have before us a tremendous opportunity to create a more fair and just Pennsylvania.”
The recent Commonwealth Court decision that Pennsylvania’s current system for funding public education violates the state constitution reinforces the need to act now both through the 2023-24 budget and through fundamental long-term solutions, House Democratic leaders said. The General Assembly and the Shapiro Administration have an opportunity to make a down payment through the 2023-24 state budget.
Simultaneously, House Democrats said they recognize that the General Assembly must start now to work on a permanent solution to fulfill our obligation. While the Fair Funding Formula fundamentally continues to be a step in the right direction, it will not solve the funding crisis. This is a generational crisis that will require a thorough and comprehensive response, they said.
“As the majority caucus we are ready to take the lead on this issue, which remains a fundamental priority for our caucus,” Speaker McClinton said.
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