Jun. 30, 2015

HARRISBURG – The 2015-16 budget plan advanced by the state House on Saturday and the Senate on Tuesday addresses the core functions of government while being mindful of the taxpayers who foot the bill, said Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest), who cast a positive vote for the sustainable, on-time plan.

“Taxpayers deserve to have every dollar they send to the state used as efficiently as possible, and this balanced budget puts our hard-working families first by holding the line on spending and refusing to raise their taxes,” Oberlander said. “With state revenue a bit above projections over the past few months and savings in some existing line items, we were able to redirect additional dollars to critical priorities, including public education and human services.”

The $30.18 billion plan contains no new tax increases and spends just 3.6 percent above last year. Public schools will receive $100 million in additional basic education dollars, $20 million more for special education, and funds to help with their increasing pension obligations. Higher education, including the state-related and state-owned universities, including Clarion University, will receive 3 percent bumps in state aid.

Additional state investments are being made for home- and community-based services and long-term care for senior citizens; services to persons with disabilities; domestic violence and rape crisis programs; and drug and alcohol treatment, recovery and prevention programs to help with increasing incidents of drug overdoses.

“The budget we approved puts the taxpayer first and meets our constitutional duty,” Oberlander said. “Unlike our federal government in Washington, D.C., the Commonwealth cannot spend more than it collects, and this budget plan addresses our core functions without increasing the burden to our residents. This budget puts us on a responsible path of prudent budgeting, a move the taxpayers deserve.”

The budget bill now heads to the governor where its future is uncertain.

?Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander