Oberlander Confirms State Budget Strikes Fiscally Balanced Approach to Caring for State Taxpayers

HARRISBURG — State Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong) issued the following statement regarding passage of the $28.376 billion 2013-14 state budget.   As a first-time member of the House Appropriations Committee, Oberlander voted yes on a fiscally responsible, balanced and on-time spending plan which does not raise taxes for the third consecutive year.

“I can honestly tell you that this budget really takes a balanced approach to caring for the hard-working people who put the dollars in this budget.  Most importantly, this year’s budget lives within its means.    

“When you look at it, if your priority is education, this budget invests a record of $10 billion total state dollars in K-12 education — almost one-third of this budget goes for education.  

“It increases the investment in early childhood education by $6.4 million.  It also increases funding for science, technology and math by restoring mobile science funds and it provides $3 million in grants for new equipment in our career and technical schools. This year’s budget also provides level funding for our state’s institutions of higher learning such as Clarion University.  These are all good things.

“If your priorities are health or disease oriented, this year’s budget increases Department of Health funding for diabetes, epilepsy, lupus, ALS, Torrente’s syndrome and a number of other support services by $1.5 million.

“If it’s the environment that you care about, this year’s budget increases funding for conservation districts, which are very important to all Pennsylvania communities, by $8.4 million.  It also increases Department of Environment Protection funding for both environmental protection and management by $697 million.

“If it’s public safety you are concerned about, this year’s budget allocates funding for 290 new state troopers and $4 million for violence protection programs.  It also provides $1.5 million for the state police forensics lab, so items found at any crime scene can be collected quickly in order to get the bad guys even quicker.

“This year’s budget also addresses job creation by offering $5 million for career education training so we can get more Pennsylvanians back to work in skilled jobs that are available now.

“In short, this year’s budget is a balanced, fiscally responsible plan that really lives within in its means, while addressing the most important priorities of Pennsylvania taxpayers who are responsible for paying the bill.”

For the latest legislative updates, visit RepOberlander.com or Facebook.com/RepOberlander.

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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