McNeill releases statement on PA budget passage

HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill offered the following statement about the final passage of the 2023-24 state budget:

“While this budget isn’t what I hoped for, I do believe that there are a lot of great things in this budget for the people of our commonwealth, so a yes vote was the best vote.

“A $136 million expansion to Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program was included, increasing the maximum rebate from $650 to $1,000 and raising the income cap to $45,000, and tying it to the consumer price index. This change will make 150,000 more Pennsylvanians eligible for the program.

“The Whole-Home Repairs program also received a one-time allocation of $50 million in state funds, allowing for county-wide agencies to do more to address habitability and safety concerns, providing measures to improve energy or water efficiency, and making units accessible for individuals with disabilities.

“Additionally, this budget spends approximately 5% more than last year’s plan did and much of that is going toward education, including $567 million in K-12 education funding. The plan also includes a universal free breakfast program, $100 million in supplemental spending for the poorest school districts, and Pennsylvania’s first-ever public legal defense funding.

“This spending plan puts heavy emphasis on the younger people in our communities being that this is the second-largest increase for education ever. They are the next generation, and it was imperative that we invested as much as we possibly could in them. While we wished to invest even more, it was important to take the best version of what we were going to get and have a budget established."