Major Says 2012-13 State Budget Spends Responsibly, Doesn’t Raise Taxes
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) this week joined her colleagues in the House in voting to approve a $27.7 billion state budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
“This budget achieves the type of fiscal management most Pennsylvania families adhere to – not spending more than you are making,” said Major. “The good news is that while keeping to a strict budget, we were still able to make some significant adjustments to the governor’s original budget proposal in February to ensure that areas of the budget, such as education, human services and hospitals, received substantial restorations.”
Under the final budget, higher education will receive the same amount of funding it received in the 2011-12 fiscal year. In addition, critical care hospitals, trauma centers, burn centers and OB/neonatal hospitals will also receive the same amount of funding. All of these areas of the budget were originally slated to receive substantial cuts.
“I heard from many constituents in regard to basic education funding and I am pleased to report that we were successful in negotiating not just level funding, but INCREASED funding for each of the schools in the 111th District,” said Major. “This means schools can continue to focus on delivering a quality education to the children in Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
“There was also a great deal of discussion regarding funding for human service programs, everything from 20 percent cuts as proposed by the governor, to the creation of block grants to give counties more flexibility when distributing funds; however, in the end we made a good compromise. We were able to provide additional money to that area of the budget so the proposed reduction would be cut in half – to only 10 percent. We are also launching a pilot program in some counties to test out the benefits and possible drawbacks of a human service block grant system,” said Major. “Those in our community who are most in need will also benefit from the addition of more than $17 million to reduce the waiting list for services for those with intellectual disabilities. Addressing this area of the budget was a top priority of the House Republicans.”
Major noted that another area of the budget that needed to be addressed pertained to the looming pension crisis. While lawmakers have not been able to come to an agreement on reforming the state pension systems yet, Gov. Tom Corbett has committed to working on a solution over the next year. In the meantime, this budget pays the full statutorily required contribution for the state’s pension obligations to both the State Employees Retirement System and the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System.
For more information on the 2012-13 state budget, visit www.RepMajor.com
State Representative Sandra Major
111th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman