Cruz: 2018-19 budget boosts education, human services without tax increase
PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he voted in favor of the $32.7 billion state spending plan for 2018-19, citing emphasis on education, career training, school safety and human services.
“I’m very pleased with this year’s budget process. The bill passed includes significant increases in funding for our schools and major investments to enhance job growth and workforce development. It protects essential services for our most vulnerable citizens and maintains funds for public safety, transportation, and other essential services families depend upon –without increasing the tax burden for Pennsylvanians.
“I’m thrilled to see $140 million more allocated for basic, special and early education; and $40 million for career and technical education – to create new apprenticeship programs and develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
“In a separate bill we committed $60 million to school and community safety. A long overdue investment for schools to fund violence-prevention programs, police officers and other initiatives. Unfortunately, gun violence in schools is a reality and we must work proactively to keep our kids safe.
“We were able to maintain long-term care programs to provide both physical health and support to seniors and citizens with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as access to quality child care.
“We also continue to support the fight against heroin use and opioid abuse epidemic. I’m happy for the $4.5 million in new funding to provide home visiting services to families affected by substance abuse. Maintaining support for those who are suffering from addiction is a priority.
“I’m proud to say that we were able to accomplish all this in a bipartisan and timely manner for the first time in more than 10 years.”