Mar. 07, 2023
HARRISBURG –PA State Rep. Robert Leadbeter (R-Columbia) issued the following statement on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address on Tuesday.
“Gov. Shapiro is proposing a $45.8 billion budget, which equates to a $2.5 billion or nearly 6% increase from the current year. Republicans have spent years building up the state’s emergency funds to protect taxpayers, only to have this governor propose a plan that will exhaust the nearly $13 billion within just five years. With the economic downturn and inflation Pennsylvanians are facing, now is not the time to increase government spending and create new programs and recurring cost. It is also not the time to extend the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the energy tax it imposes on the industry and the consumers who will be forced to pay higher energy bills as a result.
“I am concerned about the level of spending in the governor’s plan and that only $14 million of the $900 million increase in education funding would be for career and technical education. I will continue to strongly advocate for more of the education budget to be allocated toward funding skills training and school choice alternatives to traditional public education. With the demographic challenges Pennsylvania faces, it is important that we invest in the education of our youth to prepare them to work in a variety of family-sustaining jobs in the Commonwealth.
“I am optimistic to see a $4.7 million increase in funding for the Department of Agriculture. As we work to support our state’s top industry and the hard-working men and women who are part of it, I hope to see the appropriate allocation of funding applied to directly benefit the agriculture and agribusiness industries in Columbia County.
“The budget also includes increased funding for veteran’s services including Veteran’s Outreach Services, Veterans Homes and more. We must continue to support our veterans for their service and sacrifices they made for the country.”
The governor’s budget proposal serves as a starting point for the annual state budget process. Starting the week of March 20, the House Appropriations Committee will host a series of hearing with all state agencies to delve into the details of the governor’s plan. Information obtained through the hearings will be used to develop a final state budget by the June 30 deadline.
Representative Robert Leadbeter
109th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jacob Misal