Jun. 25, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) joined a bipartisan majority of her House colleagues in passing the 2019-20 state budget proposal today. House Bill 790 would increase education funding to historic levels while keeping spending growth in line with the rate of inflation and without raising taxes or fees for hard-working Pennsylvania residents. 

Pickett issued the following statement regarding the $33.9 billion spending plan:

“This budget is factual evidence that the way to grow revenue is to increase the economy. Republicans have stood strong for many years on the premise of no new taxes and growing jobs. That is exactly what is happening right now in Pennsylvania. 

“Putting $300 million into the Rainy Day Fund is something we have really needed to do for awhile and this year we have the opportunity to do it. Not only does it give us reserve dollars in case something unexpected should come up in the future, but it also positively affects the Commonwealth’s borrowing numbers and its credit standing. 

“Education is important to all of us. This budget put an additional $400 million plus into our schools. One of the things I’m really pleased about is the acknowledgement that our tech schools are doing a great job in training students for good careers. As a result, funding for career and technical schools was increased by $10 million. Some of that funding is earmarked for new equipment. Those students can’t get the good jobs if they haven’t been trained on the best equipment. 

“Another thing that I know people in my area will be happy to hear is that there is no $25 per-person fee on my small rural municipalities and boroughs that do not have their own police force. That fee would have been assessed every year for the privilege of having state police coverage. 

“In my rural area, we are all about agriculture and this budget includes a 13% increase in funding for state agricultural programs. There are so many different line items that are all very important, including line items cut by the governor that have all been restored. The funding is very much needed and these programs are the right place to put our dollars.” 

To watch a video of Pickett’s budget comments, visit https://youtu.be/e-SUSvI-LoA. 

House Bill 790 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The 2019-20 budget would provide local school districts with the following funding amounts. The subsidies include basic and special education, Social Security, retirement, Ready to Learn block grants and transportation: 
Athens Area – $19.8 million, a funding increase of $440,985 (2.3%).
Canton Area – $10.5 million, a funding increase of $192,723 (1.9%).
Elk Lake – $11.2 million, a funding increase of $236,108 (2.2%).
Montrose Area – $13.1 million, a funding increase of $202,220 (1.6%).
Mountain View – $9.6 million, a funding increase of $100,668 (1.1%).
Northeast Bradford – $9.2 million, a funding increase of $145,745 (1.6%).
Sayre Area – $10.1 million, a funding increase of $409,190 (4.2%).
Sullivan County – $5.1 million, a funding increase of $157,201 (3.2%).
Towanda Area – $12.2 million, a funding increase of $367,668 (3.1%).
Troy Area – $14.2 million, a funding increase of $261,149 (1.9%).
Wyalusing Area – $11.5 million, a funding increase of $306,3997 (2.7%).

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives