Webster applauds governor’s 2024-25 state budget proposal

HARRISBURG, Feb 7 - State Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, issued this statement, following Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget address:

“Yesterday, while addressing a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate, Governor Shapiro announced his 2024/25 budget proposal and spoke of a bold new plan for the future of our Commonwealth. And he’s right, it’s time for us to envision a better future for Pennsylvania. From an emphasis on education to economic development, to healthcare, and marked support for Pennsylvania’s seniors, this plan will create opportunities for every Pennsylvanian.”

The Governor’s proposed budget follows on the heels of the House Majority report from the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) which concluded that the state budget must take on more responsibility to fund education.  The budget would invest an additional $1.1 billion for basic and special education state-wide and would include reforms to Pennsylvania’s cyber charter school laws to put money back into school districts.

Webster said that the investments and reforms combined would equate to an increase of $17 million for school districts in the 150th Legislative District for the 2024/25 fiscal year:

Methacton School District: $730,385 increase

Norristown Area School District: $14,386,831 increase

Perkiomen Valley School District: $1,187,967 increase

Spring-Ford Area School District: $1,286,274 increase

“These educational investments are exactly what the BEFC House Majority report had in mind so that we can comply with the Commonwealth Court ruling and equitably fund our schools. And these are not the only dollars our schools will receive: $300 million will be allocated for a state-wide school facility grant program so that our schools can address asbestos, lead, and mold, and build safer school buildings.

“Investments like these not only prioritize our children’s education. They ease the burden on school districts to supplement funding shortfalls.” This means less pressure on schoolboards to raise property taxes because Harrisburg is starting to actually pay their fair share for public education.”

Governor Shapiro also proposed a continued investment of $100 million for school mental health supports, $50 million of continued investments for school safety and physical upgrades, $3 million to provide menstrual products in schools, and a brand new Summer Food Service Program “Pennsylvania is on track to make real investments in jobs, healthcare, and energy. Investments to build better Main Streets, better schools, better communities. Dollars that will keep seniors safe in their homes and ensure veterans are taken care of.?

“We can do all of this without raising taxes and still have a surplus at the end of June 2025. Let’s build a better future, for all of us, together.”

Webster represents the 150th Legislative District, which includes Collegeville, Trappe, Lower Providence, Upper Providence and West Norriton, and serves on the House Appropriations, Environmental Resources and Energy, Finance, State Government, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. For more information, call Webster’s office at (484) 200-8263 or email RepWebster@PAHouse.net.?