O’Mara applauds governor’s proposed 2022-23 state budget

Plan would include $1 million for Hunger-Free Campus initiative championed by O’Mara

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 state budget, saying it makes important investments in Pennsylvania’s future.

“This budget would invest in education at all levels, including funding that would help our students most in need, would raise the minimum wage to ensure hard-working Pennsylvanians can support their families and would increase support for individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable populations,” O’Mara said. “The governor’s proposal would also invest in programs critical to protecting our environment, while preparing Pennsylvania’s workers and communities for the transition to cleaner energy. This proposal – which doesn’t raise taxes – sets us on the right track as we work to finalize a budget in the coming months.”

The proposed budget, announced today, includes $1 million for the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, a new grant program to fight food insecurity at colleges and universities – which O’Mara has introduced legislation to create.

Far too many college students in Pennsylvania are food insecure, and the ongoing pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. I’m pleased that the governor recognizes the need to alleviate this burden so that students’ basic needs are met, and they are able to focus on their education,” said O’Mara, D-Delaware.

O’Mara noted that all school districts in the 165th Legislative District would see a funding increase through the budget proposal. The plan includes $1.5 billion, a 24% increase, for basic education funding, with $1.25 billion distributed through the fair funding formula, as well as $200 million, a 16% increase, in special education funding and $60 million, a 25% increase, for Pre-K Counts.

Additionally, the proposal includes $284,000 in new funding to bring mobile services to veterans and $444,500 for readiness and wellness programs at the PA National Guard to prevent suicides.

“Supporting our veterans is a cause near and dear to my heart. My husband is a combat veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan where he earned two Purple Hearts, so I understand first-hand how these proposed initiatives could benefit our service members' health and wellbeing. I hope we can enact these measures in our finalized spending plan,” O’Mara said.