Oberlander Supports Budget Compromise
HARRISBURG – Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) said today that the budget compromise that was reached in Harrisburg in recent days seeks to ensure that the state’s financial obligations are met, that the 2016-17 budget is balanced and that taxpayers will not be facing higher income and sales taxes.

“This budget accomplishes several major goals of the people of the 63rd District – it does not contain any broad-based income or sales taxes, offers more money for public education and is billions less than the governor’s proposal from March,” Oberlander said. “For the past two budget cycles, we have remained firm in our commitment that taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up a tab for billions more in government spending. This budget keeps that commitment by containing spending in areas where we have direct control.”

The $31.63 billion budget contains $200 million more in basic education funding for kindergarten through 12th grades, $25 million more for the Pre-K Counts program, $5 million for Head Start and $20 million additional for special education. Higher education would also benefit from nearly $35 million additional dollars.

Oberlander also pointed out that public safety would see a higher investment, with $15 million to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, and funding for three new classes of state police cadets.

The budget would be balanced using a mix of new revenues, primarily from a new tax amnesty program, wine privatization, expanded gaming and tobacco taxes, negating a need to raise the Personal Income and Sales and Use taxes.

“This budget is a responsible plan that funds our priorities – education, public safety and human services,” Oberlander said. “To ensure that our critical needs are met, difficult decisions are sometimes necessary, and in the end, a good compromise was reached and taxpayers are shielded from the brunt of higher income and sales taxes.”

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Jennifer Keaton
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