HARRISBURG – Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after voting for House Bill 790
, the General Appropriations portion of the 2019-20 state budget, which passed the state House today by a vote of 140-62. The legislation may now be taken up by the state Senate.
“Today I was proud to vote for a budget that spends within the Taxpayer Bill of Rights rate of 2% growth and does not include any tax increases or new taxes or fees. The 2019-20 House Republican budget proposal protects our natural gas industry and energy consumers from an expensive severance tax that was proposed by the governor. It also does not include the governor’s desired state police fee on municipalities, which was worrying to many people in my district who cannot afford more tax hikes.
“Our growing economy is benefiting from our past three budgets which have kept taxes and spending below the governor’s desired rates. Thanks to our efforts in the House, Pennsylvania’s revenues are up, and we are able to invest in our Rainy Day Fund to protect taxpayers in the event of future economic hard times. Our budget puts about $300 million into the Rainy Day Fund which currently contains only $75 million.
“In addition, we made sure to invest in quality education by including support for education options such as private, charter and online schools. Our budget would ensure targeted funding of $432 million for preK-12 education and $160 million more for Basic Education Funding, as well as $25 million more for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. Both school districts in the 83rd District, South Williamsport Area and Williamsport Area, received funding increases. I’m also especially pleased that Pennsylvania College of Technology located in Williamsport was allocated $4 million to help further its mission of placing students into family-sustaining careers.
“I look forward to seeing the Senate and the governor approve our budget that spends responsibly and invests in our future prosperity.”
Rep. Jeff C. Wheeland
Pennsylvania House of Representatives