Mullery applauds completion of bipartisan budget

HARRISBURG, July 13 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today voted for a revenue package to complete the 2016-17 state budget, which increases funding for schools and human services, and helps to fight the state’s opioid epidemic.  

The spending plan is paid for with a revenue package passed by the House and Senate today that relies on a menu of revenue-generating options such as liquor modernization, expanded gaming, tobacco taxes, and new tax rules that treat books, movies and music downloaded online the same as those purchased in stores. The revenue package does not include any broad-based tax increases. 

"Despite the continued push from many House Republicans to put off negotiations on this revenue package, a bipartisan compromise was accomplished," Mullery said. "Pennsylvania did not need a repeat of last year and a prolonged impasse that resulted in schools threatening to close and human services not able to provide the needed services." 

The spending plan includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-kindergarten and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. It also dedicates $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services.