Harrisburg – June 22, 2018 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today released a statement following the Senate’s passage of a $32.7 billion General Fund state budget for 2018-19. 

The spending plan includes more than $160 million in new investments in education – including $100 million more for basic education in addition to increases for special education, Pre-K and Head Start.  In addition, to help hold down escalating college tuition bills, the budget contains a 3.3 percent increase for state system schools and 3 percent for state-related universities. 

The budget also has new dollars for a safe school initiative.  Brewster is the prime sponsor a sweeping package of legislation to enhance school safety.   His three-bill plan calls for a statewide safety commission, armed resource officers in schools and required security upgrades for school buildings.

The governor is expected to sign the measure before the close of the Fiscal Year on June 30.

Brewster’s statement follows:

“The budget is balanced, on-time and does not include any tax increases.   It features more investments in education and school safety — initiatives I strongly support — plus job training funds that will help grow our economy and allow our workforce to be better prepared.

“For too long, we’ve had to struggle with extremely limited revenues and increased needs.  While the spending plan has new dollars, and is an increase from last year, the growth is modest and it matches revenues that are available. 

“Fortunately, with sufficient revenue growth, this budget was built on solid financial footing that enabled the modest plan to cover both critical demands and new initiatives.”

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