James Votes for Budget Approved by House
Spending plan calls for no new or increased taxes; would boost support for schools and universities
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today in Harrisburg voted for a state budget bill approved by the House that would fund the core functions of state government, increase state support for local schools and universities, and include no new taxes or tax increases.

“The economic growth we are experiencing is enabling us to provide additional state dollars to schools and universities without raising taxes,” James said. “This year’s budget is proof that government can increase investments in our communities without raising taxes, but only if it first enacts policies that support private-sector economic growth.”

The $32.7 billion spending plan represents an increase of a little more than $500 million compared to the current state budget.

The budget calls for a $100 million increase in funding for schools across the Commonwealth as well as a new, $60 million block grant program designed to fund school safety initiatives.

The budget also would invest additional state dollars in higher education, including a $15 million increase in funding for the state-owned universities that make up the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). James consistently has fought for additional budget support for the state-owned universities.

“Our state-owned universities are a valuable asset for the Commonwealth,” James said. “PASSHE universities help train and mold the leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs of the future. The investment this budget would make in our state-owned universities is an investment in the future prosperity of our entire Commonwealth.”

The budget also for the first time since the Great Recession in 2008 would put money into the state’s equivalent of an emergency savings account.

“When the recession hit, the state – like many families – was compelled to spend all of the money it had set aside for unexpected emergencies,” James said. “We’re now beginning the responsible budget practice of rebuilding that savings account in an effort to prepare for any future emergencies.”

The budget legislation – House Bill 2121 – now heads to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepJames.com / Facebook.com/RepLeeJames

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