Stephens Backs Emergency Funding Bill to Fund Schools, Social Services
9/25/2015
HARRISBURG -- Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) joined a majority of his House colleagues in passing a bill to help struggling social service agencies and schools desperate for their state subsidies.

The legislation, Senate Bills 1000 and 1001, has been sent to Gov. Tom Wolf. Notably, a majority of the lines are based upon the governor’s initial budget proposal.

The legislation is an emergency state funding bill that will provide $11 billion in state funds and allows $24.3 billion in federal dollars to reach their intended recipients.

“I urge the governor to release put politics aside and sign this legislation,” Stephens said. “Our most vulnerable citizens shouldn’t be used as pawns in budget negotiations. It’s a question of fairness to our schools and our community service providers. I ask the governor to not hold these organizations hostage to his demands for massive tax increases.”

The emergency legislation was necessary because the governor vetoed the budget passed in June that increased funding for schools and other services without the governor’s massive $5 billion tax hike.

“Unfortunately, when the governor vetoed the entire budget instead of using a line-item veto, he denied funding to our social services organizations,” Stephens said.

The House later attempted to override these critical funding items, but failed to get the two-thirds majority necessary.

“Our schools and social service organizations are now facing dire financial situations,” Stephens said. “Many are in danger of closing; others will not be able to provide vital services. This includes domestic violence and rape crisis centers.”

Stephens urged Gov. Tom Wolf to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.
“The governor must now make a decision,” Stephens said. “Taxpayers have been paying their taxes so the money is there. The governor can allow nonprofit health and human service agencies and school districts to receive their funding and keep serving the people who so desperately need help, or he can veto it and hurt the most vulnerable among us as part of a political game to win billions in new taxes.”

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
dfoster@pahousegop.com
RepToddStephens.com/ Facebook.com/RepToddStephens
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