State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro votes to support bipartisan budget, avoid another harmful impasse

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted to send a final state budget plan to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk that boosts school funding, targets the heroin and opioid addiction crisis, and protects taxpayers from broad-based tax increases.

"This budget isn’t necessarily ideal, but it does make strong investments in education and human services during a particularly tough fiscal year," Bizzarro said. "I believe the bipartisan compromise we were able to achieve was necessary to help ensure Pennsylvania will soon have a budget on the books."

Under Senate Bill 1073, basic education would receive a $200 million increase from the previous fiscal year, while special education funding would increase $20 million. As a result, Bizzarro said area school districts are set to receive the following increases:

Basic Education                             Special Education

  • General McLane:     $148,439, 1.4 percent                     $15,239, 1.1 percent
  • Millcreek Township: $493,433, 3.6 percent                     $50,123, 1.4 percent
  • Erie City:                  $3,373,571, 5.6 percent                $234,418, 2.4 percent

"Our schools have been cash-strapped for far too long," Bizzarro said. "This budget will help to restore some of the cuts made by the previous administration so that we can provide the quality education our students deserve."

Higher education, including schools like Edinboro University, would receive a 2.5 percent increase in funding.

In addition, the budget would dedicate $15 million to efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. It would also increase Pennsylvania Lottery funds used for senior programs by $43 million.

"Students, seniors and other people who depend on a timely budget won’t be left hanging for months at a time this year," Bizzarro said. "It was so important to pass a balanced and timely budget, and I am hopeful the governor will soon sign this plan into law."