Harrisburg, PA − February 7, 2024 − Senator Lisa Boscola released the following statement on Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 Budget Address:
“Let’s start with what we all like to see, no tax increases. Most Pennsylvanians are struggling to get by, and the Governor’s budget doesn’t take more from the pockets of our taxpayers. And, he seeks to invest in making Pennsylvania a leader in attracting businesses, educating our children and easing the burden of school property taxes.
Increasing spending on economic development is always a priority of mine. Over time, Harrisburg has detracted from economic dollars over time. For too long, we have been sitting on the sidelines and not investing enough to grow our economy. Governor Shapiro seeks to change that with a significant increase and a plan to get Pennsylvania back in the economic development game. The Governor’s bold $600 million proposal for economic development, particularly the $500 million allocated for PA SITES, holds promise for revitalizing legacy industrial areas, something important in the 18th Senatorial District. Also, money put towards driving innovation, through programs with long track records of success like Ben Franklin and others, to build the jobs of tomorrow is smart government.
To build the jobs of tomorrow, we need to make sure we have an educated workforce and that starts in our schools. We all know the Commonwealth Court held our current funding system unconstitutional. Our education funding system needs to be reimagined. We must ensure adequate resources for students while delivering the property tax relief long overdue to homeowners.
The proposed increase in public education funding through our fair funding formula and to address school districts that have been inadequately funded is important. However, we must tie increases to real school property tax relief. The Governor proposes an additional $236 million for property tax relief, through two different programs. I need to study the impact that has on the homeowners in my district. I say it every year, Pennsylvania homeowners need real meaningful property tax relief. I appreciate that the Governor recognizes that it is a need. Rest assured, I will be advocating strongly to ensure these dollars find their way to the Lehigh Valley to help reduce school property taxes for the residents in my district.
That said, budgets are intricate, and the details matter. I commend the Governor for his collaborative, bipartisan approach thus far and I believe we will see much of the same in budget negotiations to come. While there’s much work ahead, I commend the Governor for his vision to forge a stronger Pennsylvania that benefits us all.”