Today’s passage of a revenue package means that we avoid another lengthy impasse, our budget is balanced this year, and we have greatly reduced the commonwealth’s structural budget deficit.
This package is an important step forward and includes sustainable, recurring revenue that makes significant progress toward reducing our structural deficit. When I took office, I inherited a deficit of more than $2 billion and schools that were devastated from drastic funding cuts.
Recently, we also came together to pass a budget that included historic investment in education at all levels and much-needed funding to combat Pennsylvania’s heroin crisis.
Over the last several months, I have worked together with Republicans and Democrats to achieve major progress on issues including the legalization of medical marijuana, the passage of historic liquor reform, and the enactment of a fair funding formula that ensures basic education funding is distributed to schools based on a district’s unique needs.
I have fought hard to turn things around and move the commonwealth forward. We have made progress – our schools have seen historic funding increases and the deficit has been significantly reduced. We still have much work to do in next year’s budget, and I look forward to continuing to work with legislative leaders on important issues facing Pennsylvania.
Now that this year’s budget is complete, it is imperative that we all continue working together to focus on our greatest public health crisis – Pennsylvania’s opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic. While the budget allows us to expand treatment for individuals suffering from addiction, we can and should do more to address this matter that is plaguing all of our communities. My administration will keep its focus on this issue and I will continue preparing for the upcoming special session.
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