Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny) issued the following statement in response to passage of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 state budget:
“I’m happy to support another no-tax or fee increase state budget that puts Pennsylvania on a path to economic recovery and sets the Commonwealth up for long-term success. It is extremely important to note that in future years, next year in particular, the state is projected to have less revenue and we need to be prepared to handle these shortfalls without raising taxes. This budget does just that.
“Time and time again, the governor has proposed to increase taxes, including a proposed $7 billion Personal Income Tax this year. Time and time again, I have stood up and opposed his proposals. In every budget leading up to this one, the governor has dramatically overspent what was allocated. In the last budget year alone, he overspent by $1.2 billion. In response to that, this year’s budget puts safeguards in place to help prevent that moving forward.
“Even working as good fiscal stewards, we were again able to increase funding for prekindergarten through 12th grade education. For Fiscal Year 2021-22, it will total an extra $380 million. Since coming into office, I’ve voted to add more than a billion dollars of new money to our education line items in the budget. In addition, we have directed $350 million in federal relief funds to assist students with learning losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also are using $282 million in federal relief funds to help our assisted living facilities, nursing homes and personal care homes that had extraordinary costs incurred over the last year. Additionally, CARES Act funds will go to the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund to aid our first responders. Another $372 million of federal funds will be used to replenish our state’s emergency supply stockpile.
“The stay-at-home order resulted in a large reduction in driving, which greatly reduced the amount of gasoline used. This resulted in less revenue collected from the gas tax to pay for critical road and bridge projects. We have directed $279 million in federal relief funds to help fund those projects. It is my hope that this will take the governor’s proposed bridge tolling plan off the table.
“Finally, I am proud to support a budget that funds two new state police cadet classes. Many troopers are nearing retirement age, and concerns have been raised about a possible shortage of officers. This funding will add an additional 180 troopers to the ranks.”
For more information on 2021-22 state budget, visit www.pahousegop.com
The 46th Legislative District includes Collier and South Fayette townships and Bridgeville, Heidelberg, McDonald and Oakdale boroughs in Allegheny County. It also encompasses Canton, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Robinson and Smith townships and Burgettstown, McDonald and Midway boroughs in Washington County.
Representative Jason Ortitay
46th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tracy Polovick