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Commissioner's office in Laporte

Pickett Says New Budget Responds to State’s Critical Needs

Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) said today that the new state budget will be one that reflects the current status of the economy while being responsible to the taxpayers. 

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have been involved with this budget process from day one and am pleased it has been adopted on time,” Pickett said. “Throughout the past four months, my colleagues and I have listened to every side of this debate. We have adopted a spending plan that is not only realistic but that also meets our most critical needs.” 

The $27.15 budget for 2011-12 is more than $1 billion, or 4 percent, less than the 2010-11 budget that expires at midnight on Thursday.  

It seeks to right-size state government while appropriating one-third of the overall budget for education at $9.59 billion. This budget contains the highest level of Basic Education Funding at the state government level ever. In addition, the highly successful Accountability Block Grant program, which gives schools flexibility, is funded at $100 million. 

Higher education will not be experiencing the severe cuts outlined in the March budget proposal. Instead of state funding cut in half for both state-related institutions and the State System of Higher Education, they will receive 81 percent and 82 percent in state funding respectively, compared to last year’s levels. Community colleges will receive 90 percent of last year’s funding. 

Pickett pointed out that needed reductions in welfare spending helped to make it possible to restore funding to education. 

“Many of my constituents were concerned that welfare was receiving a large increase while education seemed to receive far less,” Pickett said. “By enacting some commonsense reforms to address the documented cases of waste, fraud and abuse, we were able to look at the welfare case error rate and shift money away from this area. The Department of Public Welfare will still receive more than $10 billion to appropriately assist our state’s most vulnerable citizens.” 

Once signed by the governor, the budget will go into effect immediately. 

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Jennifer Keaton

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