HARRISBURG – The House today passed a $33.997 billion spending plan as the General Appropriations portion of the state budget. The legislation may now be taken up by the state Senate.
The General Appropriations bill passed on a 140-62 vote. Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair) was a “yes” vote on the bill and released the following statement:
“I know my constituents are pleased that this budget does not raise taxes or include new fees. The spending increase of 1.8% is less than the rate of inflation multiplied by population growth. This is very important for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
“Education gets an increase, but not what the governor proposed. It is more than we have ever provided.
“Our work to expand career and technical education opportunities would also be funded. We need to increase attention on career and technical education to develop a workforce that can fill job shortages in the Commonwealth.
“Agricultural initiatives would receive a $19.5 million increase, including money to develop a new Livestock and Consumer Health Protection program as well as a new Animal Health and Diagnostics Commission. Some $4 million would be invested in agricultural preparedness and response, which includes attempts to control the spread of the spotted lanternfly.
“The budget addresses one of my main legislative priorities of helping those with substance abuse addiction and their families. It not only increases funding for drug and alcohol programs, but also sets aside more money for providing first responders with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.
“The pledge to place more than $250 million in the Rainy Day Fund will help the state’s bond rating.
“I’m grateful we crafted a budget that allows the state to live within its means. I encourage the Senate to pass this bill and send it to the governor for his signature.”
Representative Jim Gregory
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Fitch