Rep. Jack Rader (R-Monroe) today joined a bipartisan majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing the 2021-22 state budget bill. The $39.78 billion proposal increases education funding to historic levels without raising taxes while making a record deposit into Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund.
“We worked very hard with the Senate and the governor’s office to come up with a compromise spending plan and workable solutions that will benefit the entire Commonwealth,” said Rader. “Hardworking Pennsylvanians will be pleased to learn this budget does not place a heavier tax burden on them. We were able to increase the Rainy Day Fund to more than $2.7 billion, which is necessary to cover higher costs that may occur next year or the following year. We want to avoid any overspending and the inability to pay future bills.”
The spending plan supports educational opportunities for children throughout Pennsylvania, whether they attend a public, charter of private school with a record high allocation of $13.55 billion for PreK-12 education.
“There is an additional $300 million included for basic education, which is very important to the people in my district where rising property taxes are a big issue,” Rader added. “This budget allocates $50 million more for special education and increases funding for early childhood education by $30 million. There was also $40 million added to a program that allows for school choice. In addition, we have provided extra money for career and technical schools to prepare students for the jobs of the future.”
Rader noted that school districts within the 176th Legislative District are allocated the following amounts of basic education funding:
• Pleasant Valley – $23 million, a funding increase of $395,468 (1.7%).
• Pocono Mountain – $29.9 million, a funding increase of $1.59 million (5.6%).
The budget also provides adequate funding support for infrastructure, public safety, human services and nursing homes.
“I am pleased we were able to boost funding for transportation infrastructure projects and I am hopeful some of that money comes back to our district to fix more roads and bridges. Supporting the Pennsylvania State Police is critically important, and this budget will allow for the training of 180 new troopers to protect communities statewide,” added Rader. “Human service programs provide a helping hand to families and individuals and they have been properly funded. However, this plan also includes checks and balances to control cost overruns and prevent deficits. Finally, we have made sure Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens are protected by allocating $282 million in federal relief funds to continue providing assistance to nursing homes for their COVID-19 mitigation efforts.”
“All in all, this is not a budget that makes everyone happy, but I think it is a budget that is solid and does a lot of good things, not only for the state, but also the people in my district,” Rader concluded.
To view or download a broadcast-quality video of Rader’s budget comments, visit https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/pagopvideo/734533415.mp4.
Representative Jack Rader
176th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs