Budget makes historic investments in programs to address Black maternal health, public education, tax relief

HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, said the state’s budget, H.B. 611, makes new and historic investments in Black maternal health, public education, community development, disadvantaged businesses and fresh food financing.

As part of the state budget, H.B. 611 appropriates more than $8.2 million to address the Black maternal health crisis, $567 million in Basic Education Funding and $100 million for the Level Up supplement to expand investments in public schools, $50 million in continued funding for the Whole-Home Repairs program, $20 million for the new Historically Disadvantaged Business Assistance program and $2 million for the new Fresh Food Financing Initiative.

“This state budget represents a path forward for our commonwealth and while we did not get everything we wanted in this budget, I remain deeply committed to ensuring Pennsylvanians also have a path forward to reproductive health care that is equitably funded,” Mayes said. “While the budget continues to fund crisis pregnancy centers, which are sources of medical misinformation targeting pregnant people seeking abortions, the budget makes critical investments in maternal and child health, the Nurse Family Partnership and the Child Care Works program.”

Mayes said state budget also expands the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to help more homeowners and renters seniors and people with disabilities and, for the first time, the state budget funds indigent defense.

To further invest in students and fairly fund schools, the budget also increases funding for schools in Allegheny County by more than $50 million, an 8.6% increase, and sends $100 million in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to provide mental health services at schools.

While the Senate amended the bill to include school vouchers, Gov. Josh Shapiro promised to line-item veto the school vouchers provisions included in the bill.

The bill appropriates approximately $45 billion for state programs and services without any increase in state taxes. It now advances to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk.