Harrisburg, June 22, 2018 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today provided the following statement on the passage of the 2018-19 state budget:
“I am pleased with this bipartisan spending plan. It holds the line on taxes, keeps spending under the inflation level and staves off future financial problems by putting dollars aside in the state’s ‘rainy day’ fund.
“Even under these spending constraints, I am pleased that we were able to make increased investments in education and economic development. Investing in our schools and economy is an investment in our future. It’s also worth emphasizing that proven economic development programs provide for a sound return on our investment. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, it is estimated that these programs leveraged $59 million to generate $1.7 billion in private investment.
“In this budget, we appropriated $40 million for PAsmart, a program designed to improve coordination between our education and workforce development communities to help prepare workers for in-demand jobs.
“I was also pleased to see additional dollars to encourage manufacturing investment and the transfer of $737,000 for the Vocational Rehabilitation Fund to optimize federal support funds to help the displaced and disabled find jobs.
“Finally, this budget increases funding for public schools by $186 million and provides an additional $22 million for our community colleges and state system colleges.”
“With this budget in place, I hope we can focus on additional ways to enhance economic opportunity, increase pay for workers and continue revitalizing our communities.”
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