Benninghoff Backs Balanced, On-Time Budget Bill Approved by House
6/30/2013

Provides most state support ever for grade schools

HARRISBURG – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) today voted for a $28.376 billion budget bill approved by the state House that is balanced, includes no tax increase and boosts funding to provide the most state support for kindergarten through 12th-grade education in Pennsylvania’s history.

“This budget spends within Pennsylvania’s means and provides for the core functions of state government,” Benninghoff said.  “It is fiscally responsible while also make key investments in important sectors of the Commonwealth.”

The state budget includes more money for grade schools across the Commonwealth than at any time in the past.

While opponents claimed the budget cut funding, the truth is that the reduction in funding that schools have received in the recent past is due to the end of the federal stimulus program.  Temporary federal stimulus dollars were used for several years to prop up school budgets.  When those funds ran out, some argued that the state government should raise taxes or find other revenue sources to backfill the money.

“The federal stimulus money is gone, but taxpayers across America will be paying for that spending for years to come,” Benninghoff said.  “The Commonwealth constitution requires us to pass a balanced budget.  We can’t borrow and spend like the federal government and I consider that a good thing.  I’m not sure that arguing that Pennsylvania should follow the federal government’s lead down the road to fiscal ruin is the strongest argument.  We’re providing the most state support ever for grade schools and we’re doing it without borrowing more or raising people’s taxes.  That’s fiscally responsible and it’s why I support that element of the budget.”

The spending plan also includes a $2 million increase in funding for Penn State University, which is earmarked for the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Penn State, the other higher education schools that receive state funding and the administration reached an agreement earlier this year,” Benninghoff said.  “The agreement called for level state funding in exchange for promises from the schools that they would not raise tuition above the rate of inflation.  We have delivered on that promise.  That is good news for the students who attend Penn State and other Commonwealth-supported higher education schools, their parents and the people who work at these institutions.”

The budget also includes funding to train nearly 300 new Pennsylvania State Police cadets and makes key investments in agriculture to support the Commonwealth’s farmers.

“Public safety is a core function of state government and agriculture is the Commonwealth’s No. 1 economic sector,” Benninghoff said.  “We are supporting the people who protect our communities and the farmers who feed our families.”

The budget bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st
District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Dan Massing
717.772.9845
dmassing@pahousegop.com
KerryBenninghoff.com / Facebook.com/RepBenninghoff
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