HARRISBURG – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) today joined a bipartisan majority of her colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing the 2021-22 state budget bill. The $39.78 billion proposal increases education funding to historic levels without raising taxes while making a record deposit into Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund.
“It has been a long journey in this budget year, but a positive one. We started with the governor’s proposal back in February that proposed increasing taxes by $7 billion with a 46% hike in the state income taxes and ended with a spending plan that raises no taxes,” said Pickett. “We also were able to set aside an additional $2.5 billion in Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund for next year’s budget. Because of the circumstances ahead, we need to make sure we are prepared and can pass another budget with no tax hikes.”
The spending plan supports educational opportunities for children throughout the Commonwealth, whether they attend a public, charter or private school with a record high allocation of $13.55 billion for PreK-12 education.
“I am pleased we boosted basic education funding by $300 million,” Pickett added. “Many parents have contacted me about their children falling behind in their education because of the pandemic. To help those students we made sure to include Learning Loss dollars in there so schools can bring children up to speed in their studies. I thought that was very important.”
Pickett noted that school districts within the 110th Legislative District are allocated the following amounts of basic education funding:
· Athens Area – $12.2 million, a funding increase of $439,235 (3.7%).
· Canton Area – $7.4 million, a funding increase of $297,915 (4.2%).
· Elk Lake – $7 million, a funding increase of $154,185 (2.2%).
· Montrose Area – $7.8 million, a funding increase of $148,233 (1.9%).
· Mountain View – $5.5 million, a funding increase of $90,743 (1.7%).
· Northeast Bradford – $6.1 million, a funding increase of $87,990 (1.5%).
· Sayre Area – $6.5 million, a funding increase of $191,490 (3.1%).
· Sullivan County – $2.9 million, a funding increase of $141,315 (5%).
· Towanda Area – $7.6 million, a funding increase of $624,481 (9%).
· Troy Area – $9.5 million, a funding increase of $201,786 (2.2%).
· Wyalusing Area – $7.2 million, a funding increase of $135,966 (1.9%).
“Other allocations of interest to the residents of my rural district include funding to train 180 new state troopers, $5 million to support our first responders and $279 million to repair roads and bridges. There are 561 separate line items in this budget and a lot of detail. I encourage anyone with questions about any of them to contact me,” Pickett concluded. “All in all, I think this is a good budget that will continue to push Pennsylvania forward down the road of economic recovery.”
Representative Tina Pickett
110th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives