Rep. John Lawrence (R-West Grove) issued the following statement after Sunday’s passage of the 2013-14 state budget in the House of Representatives. Lawrence voted in favor of the balanced $28.4 billion spending plan, which does not raise state taxes. The budget was approved on time for the third consecutive year.
“I was a yes vote on this year’s budget, which prioritizes spending on education, public safety, and agriculture. As a fiscal steward of the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars, I fought hard to ensure that this year’s budget was balanced, included no new borrowing, and did not hike the sales or the income tax. The people of Pennsylvania do not need to see higher state taxes, particularly while we have not seen movement on legislation to address out-of-control school property taxes.
“Under this budget, education will receive a record $10 billion in total state funding, with an increase of $122 million for basic education. In addition, Lincoln University will receive an additional $2 million, which is a 10 percent increase over the 2012-13 fiscal year. I worked very hard with Dr. Robert Jennings, President of Lincoln University, to bring this additional funding to Lincoln. Both the students of Lincoln and the greater Oxford community will benefit from these additional funds.
“In addition, $20 million is being dedicated to help reduce the waiting list for services for people with intellectual disabilities, increased funding for the state police will result in nearly 300 additional state troopers, and more state dollars are being used to help pay down the state’s pension obligations. In fact, this year’s budget makes an historic investment in school teacher’s pensions, dedicating over $1 billion in state dollars to the Public School Employees Retirement System for the first time ever.
“No budget is perfect, but at the end of the day, this is a fiscally conservative budget that meets our state’s core responsibilities without additional state tax dollars.”