Waxman votes in favor of state budget
HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., yesterday cast his vote in favor of the 2023-24 state budget, committing to significant investment in Pennsylvania's education system, infrastructure and mental health services. The budget, passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, signals a commitment to Pennsylvania's future and a dedication to addressing immediate needs of communities.
"This budget is not perfect by a long shot, but Governor Shapiro's commitment to veto the $100 million voucher portion of the budget was key in securing my vote. We need to ensure our resources are committed to public education,” Waxman said.
The Philadelphia School District will receive $1.7 billion, a $119.6 million, or 7.6%, increase from the previous fiscal year.
"This budget avoids a prolonged partisan standoff without compromising our core values,” said Waxman. "Our work in the Pa. House has yielded historic increases to K-12 education funding, a commitment to supporting teachers with student teacher stipends, and vital expansions in food security for our students through free breakfast and expanded lunch programs."
Waxman also noted the budget's commitment to improving Pennsylvania's infrastructure and supporting local businesses, with $50 million in whole home repairs and $20 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Program.
In addition to these commitments, the budget also sets aside funds for the first time ever for indigent defense, and $20 million to counties to bolster basic funding for mental health services.
"Each budget decision is a statement of our values, and this budget makes it clear: We value education, infrastructure, local businesses and the well-being of our fellow Pennsylvanians," said Waxman.
Despite his vote in favor of the budget, Waxman acknowledged that there's still work to be done. "Harrisburg isn't a place where you find perfection. However, I am proud of the unity displayed by House Democrats during this budget process, and I remain committed to fighting for our shared values and priorities."
Waxman said he continues to work to ensure that the state budget reflects the needs and values of all Pennsylvanians.
More information on the budget is available by contacting Waxman’s district office at 215-246-1501.