HARRISBURG – Rep. Joshua Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) issued the following statement regarding the passage of the 2021-22 budget and how he’s fighting for taxpayers:
“This budget dedicates money to sectors with the biggest needs, but at the same time the bill would maintain fiscal responsibility, such as saving $5 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds for future needs and another $2.5 billion for the Rainy Day Fund. We’ve learned the hard way what happens when every dollar is spent. This bill allows us to devote funding to places with immediate needs while also protecting our future. Senate Bill 255
would prohibit the Department of Human Services from creating new programs without authorization from the General Assembly. This eliminates unilateral spending without seeking approval from the House and Senate.
“The 2021-22 budget includes no new taxes and fees. Families have struggled to make ends meet due to missed job opportunities created by systematic flaws. This is one less obstacle for every Pennsylvanian to face.
“One of the promises I made to my constituents was I’d do everything in my power to create job opportunities so everyone can go to work and provide for their families. This budget would allocate $279 million in federal relief funding for transportation infrastructure because it’s crumbling, and it also keeps crews working on road and bridge projects. In addition, $44 million in federal relief funding would be set aside for career and technical schools to ensure students have the skills necessary for jobs available today. We continue to support our state’s top industry, agriculture, by maintaining funding for key operational and research needs, as well as adding $3 million to increase the PA State Food Purchase Program.
“There would be a big emphasis on protecting our communities. Under this budget, the Pennsylvania State Police would be able to train two new cadet classes, which equates to an additional 180 troopers in the streets throughout the state. Also, $372 million would be dedicated to the ongoing pandemic response, another $30 million towards violence intervention and prevention, and $5 million to support our first responders.
“Families are everything. Everyone should be protected, especially our children and senior citizens. In this budget, $282 million from federal relief funds would be distributed to help nursing homes, assisted living facilities and personal care homes to help with pandemic-related costs.
“Children are the future. Education is crucial, especially during a time when they are behind due to lost learning from the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget for PreK-12 education would be a record high $13.55 billion. The Basic Education Funding line would see an increase of $300 million. $30 million more would go towards early childhood education funding. Special education funding would receive an extra $50 million.
“$350 million in federal funding would be set aside for learning loss, summer enrichment and after school programs. The budget would also include a $40 million increase to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit.
“This budget helps create jobs, allows children to properly acquire education and protects our families.”
Representative Joshua Kail
15th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple