Schlossberg commends governor’s 2022-23 budget plan

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg said he is encouraged by the significant investments proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf for Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 budget year.

Of particular interest to Schlossberg is the governor’s proposal to increase basic education funding by $1.25 billion, special education funding by $200 million and Level Up funding by $300 million.

“The increased funding for Level Up, basic education and special education will go a long way toward supporting Pennsylvania students at a critical time in our commonwealth’s future. School districts need every bit of help we can give them, and the plan put forth by Governor Wolf is a solid one,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. “During the current budget year, I was proud to lead the charge on Level Up funding to help our most underfunded school districts and, if enacted, this spending proposal would continue the progress we started last year. It would also make substantial investments in growing school districts like Parkland, ensuring that Parkland would continue to have the resources it needs to be successful."

In basic education, the total increase to Parkland would be $4.1 million, a 43.3% increase. For the Allentown School District, the increase would be $66.5 million, a nearly 50% increase. In special education, Parkland would receive an additional $569,000 (14.5% increase), while Allentown would receive an additional $3.8 million (29.7% increase). Furthermore, both school districts would see a major savings by the governor’s proposed reforms to charter and cyber charter schools. Parkland would save $878,000, and Allentown would save roughly $5 million.

The governor’s budget proposal also includes a rate increase for behavioral health providers and a hike in nursing home reimbursement rates. It also would fund postpartum depression tracking, a piece of legislation that Schlossberg has worked on in the past.

“Pennsylvania faces a mental health care crisis, and any failure to allocate more resources will cause the system to collapse. We can, and must, do everything in our power to fund these programs, which help people when they are at their most vulnerable time,” Schlossberg said.

“More than 10 years ago, Governor Tom Corbett and Harrisburg Republicans cut funding for human services programs by 10%. Counties never recovered. If we are serious about providing more mental health care, it is best delivered through counties. The $36 million proposed by Governor Wolf for county human services is a critical starting point, but that amount would not restore the cut made more than a decade ago.”

Schlossberg also praised the governor for continuing to push the majority Republicans to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour.

“It’s an insult to the thousands upon thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians, many of whom work in frontline positions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, that Pennsylvania continues to be the only state in our region not to have instituted a minimum wage increase since 2009. How long are Pennsylvania workers supposed to wait for a raise before Harrisburg Republicans bring the matter to a vote in the state House and Senate?”

On the business front, Schlossberg commends the proposal to cut the Corporate Net Income tax to 7.95%.

“Lowering the CNI tax is a way to ensure that Pennsylvania’s tax structure stays competitive with surrounding states,” he said.