Stephens Votes for Supplemental Budget to Fund our Schools
HARRISBURG—Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) today backed a supplemental budget bill to prevent layoffs and school closures across the Commonwealth.

“This supplemental budget bill restores education funding vetoed by the governor in December,” Stephens said. “And it does it without raising taxes.”

In December, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed more than $6 billion in funding from the General Assembly-approved budget. Since then, the Legislature has fought to close the 2015-16 budget and send needed funds to local schools, universities and hospitals.

“The governor’s decision to veto school funding has needlessly caused uncertainty in school districts across this Commonwealth while the funds sit unappropriated in the state’s treasury,” Stephens said. “I am committed to properly funding our schools with a fair formula reflecting the true cost drivers to educate Pennsylvania’s students.”

This supplemental budget completes the 2015-16 budget by providing an $872.6 million increase or 3 percent over the 2014-15 budget, yet spends within available revenues without relying on new sales or income taxes. State education funding will reach $11.08 billion-- an increase of $461 million or 4.3 percent over 2014-15. While the budget passed in December, parts of which Wolf vetoed, provided record funding for Pennsylvania schools, this bill further grows that investment.

While the governor’s December vetoes cut tens-of-millions in funding for higher education, this supplemental budget bill reverses those vetoes for community colleges and the State System of Higher Education. It also fully funds Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Lincoln University. This plan also provides a minimum 5 percent increase in funding for these institutions over what was provided in 2014-15.

The budget also restores funding for vital community assets like critical access hospitals, hospital-based burn centers and child advocacy centers.

“I urge the governor to sign this supplemental budget so we can end this unnecessarily prolonged financial struggle and close out the 2015-16 budget and begin working to pass the 2016-17 budget,” Stephens said.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
Share |