HARRISBURG – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Wyoming) attended a joint session of the General Assembly today during which Gov. Josh Shapiro presented his state budget proposal for the 2024-25 fiscal year.
Pickett issued the following statement in reaction to the governor’s $48.3 billion spending plan, which is a $3.7 billion (8.4%) increase over the current fiscal year:
“Governors always include a lot of spending in their proposal and ultimately that’s not how the budget is going to look. I really couldn’t keep up with his math, with all the spending he mentioned. The governor called it ‘an investment,’ but people are concerned about the return on their investments. They spend a lot on state taxes and want to know what they’re getting back to make their lives better.
“The governor talked about additional money for our schools, and certainly I’m in favor of making our schools all they can be. However, he didn’t mention private schools that many families know are just better for their children. Private schools need to be included in our discussion.
“I totally disagree with what he had to say about the state’s reserve money and that it’s there to be spent. We need to leave some of that funding in place to take care of the things that can and will happen down the road.
“Finally, I’m disappointed he didn’t talk about the No. 1 issue in the Northern Tier – the need for adequate and affordable broadband, which is so important to running our households and businesses.
“I look forward to going through the details of the governor’s spending proposal and deciding what makes good sense for everybody in Pennsylvania to be further ahead than they are now.”
Pickett noted that the governor’s address is just the beginning of the annual state budget process. The House Appropriations Committee will conduct a series of hearings starting Tuesday, Feb. 20, to examine the details of the governor’s plan and how state departments and agencies are spending their funding. The General Assembly and governor face a June 30 deadline to finalize the budget.
Representative Tina Pickett
110th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives