HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) joined a majority in the state House Tuesday to approve a 2021-22 state budget that spends responsibly and plans for the future.
“Because of our conservative approach to last year’s budget due to COVID-19 uncertainties, along with a significant influx of federal dollars under the American Rescue Plan Act, we have the resources to invest in the core functions of government – education, infrastructure and public safety – while also setting money aside for future years to protect taxpayers from significant tax hikes or service cuts,” Warner said. “I am proud to have again resisted efforts by the governor to increase taxes, overspend and put our Commonwealth’s fiscal health in danger. I firmly believe this budget serves the best interests of our citizens.”
The measure invests $2.52 billion into the Rainy Day Fund, growing the fund’s balance to a historic $2.76 billion. Additionally, $5 billion in federal relief funds will be preserved for future budgets.
“It would be easy to spend all this money at once, but it would be the wrong thing to do,” Warner said. “Obviously, the federal funds are a one-time thing, and the greater-than-expected state revenue is likely a bubble related to those federal stimulus funds. Fiscal restraint is the only responsible approach to this year’s budget.”
While keeping spending in check, the budget does make important investments.
For road and bridge projects, the budget invests $279 million in federal relief funds to make up for pandemic-related revenue losses in Motor License Fund revenue. The budget also invests $44 million in federal funds for career and technical education so students can learn the skills needed for the jobs of today and the future.
Funding for public education is also increased, with $300 million more in basic education funding, $30 million more for early childhood education and $50 million more for special education.
To boost public safety, the budget includes funding to train two new state police cadet classes, providing an additional 180 troopers to protect our communities.
Senate Bill 255
now heads back to the Senate for its consideration. The deadline for adopting the 2021-22 state budget is June 30.
Representative Ryan Warner
52nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler