Mullery votes for budget bill that boosts education funding

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today supported passage of a state budget plan that increases education funding and expands efforts to fight our commonwealth’s growing opioid addiction crisis.

"This plan isn’t perfect, but it provides much needed education funding, something our school districts have been anticipating for years," Mullery said. "The budget is on-time and doesn’t increase broad-based taxes."

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. According to information provided by the House Appropriations Committee Democratic staff, Mullery said school districts in his 119th Legislative District are slated to receive substantial increases.

Mullery said the bill also provides funding for three additional Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes; transfers millions from the Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund to give money to conservation programs and dedicates $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services.

"This funding would help my district put more patrols in municipalities that don’t have local police," Mullery said. "The $15 million allocated to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic is crucial for so many families that have loved ones dealing with this overwhelming problem."

The bill is now headed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.