– Following passage of the 2022-23 state budget, Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Altoona), a member of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees the state budget, issued the following statement:
“The budget we approved today is a blueprint to build a sound fiscal house here in Pennsylvania while making key investments in core government services.
“Like a family’s personal finances, the state budget responsibly sets aside $2.1 billion into the Rainy Day Fund to protect residents well into the future from being drastically impacted by a downturned economy. This is the responsible step to take. A family wouldn’t spend the entirety of a financial windfall on one single thing, rather it would plan accordingly and set money aside for the future. That is exactly what the Legislature did in putting money aside in the Rainy Day Fund.
“As fiscal watchdogs, we made sure this budget also pays down state debt. This puts Pennsylvania on firmer fiscal ground and improves our overall financial outlook.
“This budget does, however, increase funding for basic education by $525 million, another key aspect in planning for the future. To aid cash-strapped school districts, including Altoona Area School District, we earmarked $225 million in Level Up funding for the 100 poorest districts. The budget also includes one of the largest investments in decades to protect the environment, with $100 million for a program to support the rehabilitation, repair, and development of parks and forest areas.
“Knowing the economy should be allowed to grow naturally, we slashed the Corporate Net Income Tax. Pennsylvania has a proud and mighty workforce, and our workers shouldn’t be denied family-sustaining jobs because businesses shy away from coming here because of the high tax rate. This rights a wrong and will entice businesses to the Commonwealth.”