Simmons Pleased House Republican Budget Restores Funding for Basic and Higher Education

Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton) today voted in favor of the 2011-12 state budget proposal introduced by House Republicans earlier this month.  The $27.3 billion spending plan now moves on to the Senate for consideration. 

“I am proud to support this budget proposal,” Simmons said.  “It does not raise taxes or fees.  We are also living within our means by not spending money we do not have.”  

“I am especially pleased we were able to restore some of the education cuts proposed by Governor Tom Corbett,” Simmons said.  “The funding reductions suggested for our public schools and state universities simply went too deep.  We’ve restored a half billion dollars in funding, including $210 million for our school districts statewide.” 

If included in the final budget document, school districts in the 131st  District will see significant increases in their state appropriation when compared to what the governor had proposed:

  • Allentown City - $1,517,850
  • Southern Lehigh - $657,020
  • East Penn - $557,952
  • Saucon Valley - $407,113
  • Salisbury Township - $226,196  

House Republicans have emphasized education over welfare.  Their budget proposal reduces funding for the Department of Public Welfare by $471 million, yet still represents a 1 percent spending increase over this year.  The department has been challenged to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse identified by Pennsylvania’s auditor general.  “This budget makes sure our neediest residents continue to be protected by the safety net of welfare services provided by the state,” Simmons said. 

“House Republicans have done their part in producing a reasonable budget before the June 30 deadline,” said Simmons.  “Now it’s in the hands of the Senate.” 

State Representative Justin Simmons
131st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Andy Briggs