HARRISBURG – Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) is standing up for taxpayers by voting in favor of a fiscally responsible state budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Mercuri issued the following statement:
“In the same way the hard-working constituents of this district steward their resources, it was important for me that our state budget reflected that same fiscal responsibility. Our goal was to create a budget detailing a plan for responsible spending to accommodate the diverse needs of citizens while encouraging employment and economic growth.
“Rather than accept Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to increase taxes in a pandemic year, including a proposed $7 billion Personal Income Tax increase earlier this year. I’m happy to report this budget would include no new taxes and no new fees. Hardworking Pennsylvanians should not be penalized for providing for their families by having to send more of their hard-earned money to Harrisburg.
“Infrastructure and jobs are two of many key components for a well-functioning state economy. The budget would eliminate costly overtime regulations Gov. Wolf forced upon small businesses. Transportation infrastructure would receive $279 million in federal relief funding to support pivotal road and bridge projects. The PA State Food Purchase Program would get an additional $3 million and funding was restored for the operational and research needs of Pennsylvania’s largest industry, agriculture.
“It’s our duty to put the children in the best possible position to succeed. Children are our future, and the betterment of the Commonwealth depends on them. The budget for PreK-12 education would be $13.55 billion, which is a record high. Basic Education Funding would increase by $300 million. Early childhood education funding, which includes Pre-K and Head Start, would see a $30 million increase. Special education funding would see a $50 million increase. Also, $350 million in federal relief funding would be dedicated to address learning loss, summer enrichment and after school programs. A system redesign of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) would be backed by this budget, as $50 million in federal relief funding would assist with integration.
“It’s imperative for the budget to serve in a versatile manner in order to successfully balance near-term needs with the long-term future of the economy. This includes protecting our most vulnerable citizens. This budget looks to dedicate $282 million in federal relief funds to help nursing homes, assisted living and personal care homes with costs related to personal protective equipment (PPE), staff testing and other pandemic-related expenses. Older Pennsylvanians and those with intellectual disabilities would also be taken care of. In regard to long-term needs, the budget would preserve more than $5 billion of federal relief funding for future budgets. More than $2.5 billion would head to the Rainy Day Fund.
To view Rep. Mercuri’s comments on the budget, click here
“The sustainability of our jobs, schools, and future dynamic economic growth depend on a responsible allocation of funding, and I’m happy we were able to pass this fiscally responsible budget.”
Representative Robert Mercuri
28th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple