Driscoll: House-passed budget is a step in the right direction

HARRISBURG, June 28 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., today supported the passage of a state budget that would increase education funding and expand efforts to fight the commonwealth’s growing opioid addiction crisis.

“This spending plan is far from perfect, but it is a step in the right direction to ensuring our schools have the funding they need to properly prepare our next generation,” Driscoll said. “While I am not happy with everything in this plan, I am glad we were able to find new funds for education without any broad-based tax increases and without a protracted impasse.”

Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education.

The bill also would provide a $452 million increase for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and dedicate $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services.

“The new funds dedicated to combating the heroin and opioid epidemic facing our communities is crucial for so many families. I am glad the House was able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to support a critical resource needed by so many families throughout the state,” Driscoll said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly so that we can send the budget to the governor and give Pennsylvania the on-time budget it deserves.”

The spending plan now moves to the Senate for consideration.