What People Are Saying About Governor Shapiro’s Budget Proposal to Get Stuff Done, Create Opportunity, and Advance Real Freedom for All Pennsylvanians
February 06, 2024
Leaders across Pennsylvania praise Governor Shapiro’s “thorough, bold plan” filled with “historic” investments to create opportunity for Pennsylvanians.
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro presented his 2024-25 budget proposal to the General Assembly and to the people of Pennsylvania – sharing his ‘get stuff done’ approach and vision to create more opportunity and continue delivering real solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face. By prioritizing economic opportunity and access to higher education, making historic investments in public education, supporting law enforcement and public safety, ensuring people receive the care they need, and funding critical initiatives to help Pennsylvanians from our cities to our farmlands – this budget will deliver real results for the Commonwealth.
Leaders from across Pennsylvania are praising the “thorough, bold” and “historic” budget proposal that would address the most pressing challenges facing the Commonwealth and create real opportunity.
Read what people are saying about Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal:
Pennsylvania House Democratic Leaders: Governor Shapiro laid out a comprehensive proposal that builds on last year’s historic investments in education while recognizing the important work of the Basic Education Funding Commission. House Democrats remain committed to fulfilling our constitutional and moral obligation to fund our public schools to ensure that every child, regardless of their ZIP code, has access to a quality public education. We look forward to working with the governor and our colleagues to deliver on that obligation. As our economy continues to strengthen, this is a critical moment in time to invest in our workforce and economy. Governor Shapiro’s proposal prioritizes investments that will attract and retain businesses while growing our workforce. We’re very encouraged that this plan makes key investments without raising taxes or diminishing our healthy surpluses. We’re pleased that the governor continues to share our commitment to ensuring better schools, better jobs and better communities. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and the Shapiro Administration as we further explore the budget proposal at our upcoming budget hearings.
Senator Jay Costa: Today’s budget proposal is a very solid plan to deliver for every Pennsylvanian. It’s a thorough, bold plan to open the doors of opportunity in a myriad of areas,” said Senator Costa. “From historic investments in basic education funding to laying out an aggressive economic development plan, this budget prepares Pennsylvania’s students and workers for a vibrant future in our commonwealth. I look forward to continuing to bring all parties to the table as we go forward through this budget process.
Senator Vincent Hughes: This budget prioritizes the urgent need for Pennsylvania to invest in our public schools and fix our unconstitutional education system. I applaud the Governor’s commitment to fully and adequately fund public schools and take action on the recommendations of our Basic Education Funding Commission. We have the money. And it’s far past time we fix our schools and ensure that future generations never have to walk into a crumbling school or lack educational tools they need to succeed. And the Governor’s plans to invest in our teachers and toxic schools is another important piece of the puzzle to fix our schools. Without sufficient, well-trained, and experienced teachers, and safe and healthy school buildings, our investments in basic education will not go far.
Senator Nikil Saval: I am so proud to announce $50 million for Whole Home Repairs in Governor Shapiro’s Budget! This is a win for our homes, our families, our workers, and our communities. In the face of enormous statewide need, this is a commitment to the long-term health of our Commonwealth.
Senator Maria Collett: Governor Shapiro just became the first PA Governor to talk about access to period products in his budget address. That’s a big deal.
Senator Nick Miller: Being a lifelong resident of Allentown, I have seen firsthand the results of investing in our economy. PA Sites will provide grant funding for businesses to relocate or expand in Pennsylvania, while PA Innovation will go toward entrepreneurs and additional funding for Main Street Matters program, which supports revitalization efforts.
Representative Roni Green: I’ve been saying it, and I will continue to say it until it happens, it’s time to #RaiseTheWage in Pennsylvania. $7.25 wasn’t enough 15 years ago and it’s absolutely not enough now. Like Gov. Shapiro said, it’s time to give more than 1 million Pennsylvania workers a raise.
Representative Joe Ciresi: In his #pabudget address Governor Shapiro noted that cyber and brick-and-mortar charter schools don’t have the same costs. He’s right. My cyber #charterreform bill recognizes this and sets a data-backed, standardized tuition rate. With bipartisan support, we can do it this year.
Representative Bob Merski: Governor Shapiro’s budget is a great starting point, with historic investments in education and early education. I can’t wait to get to work and get an on-time budget that works for all Pennsylvanians.
Representative Donna Bullock: Our children are our future, but only if we continue to give them the tools to succeed. With the historic investments proposed by
Governor Shapiro, our students can have a chance at a brighter future. This is only the beginning!
Representative Jessica Benham: It’s all about better jobs, better schools, and building a better future – that’s why I support increases in education funding, including for free breakfast and lunch, school repairs, school safety, mental health, and supports for our teachers, as emphasized by Gov. Shapiro.
Representative Lindsay Powell: What we heard from the governor was a bold blueprint to make our Commonwealth one of the most welcoming, accessible, competitive and equitable states in the country, all without costing Pennsylvanians a cent more in taxes. Among the governor’s proposals are a $40 million increase for Pittsburgh Regional Transit, a $600 million investment in economic development projects, and a $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding, which includes $900 million for catch-up investments to support underfunded districts like Pittsburgh Public Schools. We must better support our schools to ensure a high-quality education for our children because we’re falling short right now. I am hopeful that the governor will also commit to opposing the diversion of public school resources toward charter schools and voucher programs.
Representative Mike Schlossberg: Gov. Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget sends a strong message about the importance of meeting our moral and constitutional obligation to make world-class public education available to every student in Pennsylvania, regardless of zip code. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to do our part to unlock student potential throughout Pennsylvania with what could be history-altering commitment to public education.
Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus: You heard that right – Governor Shapiro just advocated for increased access to menstrual products in PA schools! He’s the first PA Governor to specifically highlight fighting period poverty in an annual budget address.
Luke Bernstein, PA Chamber President and CEO: We appreciate Governor Josh Shapiro’s focus on competitiveness and improving Pennsylvania’s business climate. We must become more competitive, and we have significant work to do to achieve these shared goals. Several recent studies show Pennsylvania among the bottom 10 states for attracting, retaining, or starting a new business. We have the ability to change that, but we need the right policies, investments, and structure in place so companies are encouraged to invest in Pennsylvania.
AARP Pennsylvania: On behalf of our 1.8 million members, we are encouraged that the Governor’s proposed budget includes measures that will be elevated through the commitment made to create and implement a Master Plan on Aging which is focused on restructuring policy, programs, and funding to support older Pennsylvanians to live and age well. As an organization that advocates for over 5 million Pennsylvanians aged 50 and older, we commend the initial proposals made that will support family caregivers and improve the health and financial security of older adults so they can live fulfilling and dignified lives as they age. From ensuring that older adults have access to housing that is safe and affordable, transportation that is equitable and reliable, nutritious foods that sufficiently meets their dietary needs, to creating a safe harbor at the Pennsylvania Department of Aging where more than 280,000 Pennsylvanians aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers can receive the health, social, and support services they need and deserve. We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly in the coming months as we continue to advocate for the Commonwealth to address the needs of Pennsylvanian’s 50-plus and their family caregivers while moving forward with a final budget that keeps older people in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director at Keystone Research Center: “Today’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage in Pennsylvania is simply not enough to ensure that workers can provide for themselves and their families. Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as Governor Shapiro proposed once again in his budget address today would not only improve the lives of millions of workers but also lead to a stronger and more equitable economy. We applaud his continued commitment to help working families make ends meet with a minimum wage increase – a policy that would also inject more money into Pennsylvania’s local economies.”
Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA: “Breaking News: Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro proposes a historic $1.9 million investment to support an Alzheimer’s and dementia infrastructure.”
Clean Power PA Coalition: “We applaud Governor Shapiro for proposing to invest $50 million to Pennsylvania’s Whole-Home Repairs Program, a tremendously successful effort to help families across the state make critical home repairs and safety and weatherization improvements. These funds will help homeowners and small landlords across the state pay to repair leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, broken furnaces, unsafe wiring, and much more. It will also help them tap into federal weatherization and other assistance to reduce their energy costs. Demand for Whole-Home Repairs has been overwhelming, so greater investment from the state is essential to come anywhere close to meeting the need. We appreciate Governor Shapiro’s leadership in proposing these dollars in his budget. In doing so, he responded to a recent letter from 83 organizations from across Pennsylvania urging him to do so.”
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania: We are pleased that Governor Shapiro is calling for continued investments in clean transportation, conservation, and healthy homes in his proposed budget. At a time when our commonwealth is confronting the increasing impacts of climate change, it’s more important than ever to double down on programs that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and our open spaces. We want to especially commend Governor Shapiro for his focus on investing in public transit, his efforts to replace lead service lines that threaten the health and safety of our families, his focus on investing in climate smart agricultural practices, and a substantial re-investment in the Whole Home Repairs program to help vulnerable Pennsylvanians. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and the legislature to ensure that all of these needed investments are included in this year’s budget. Additionally, the funding increases the governor is proposing for the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources will help hold polluters accountable, improve the health and safety of our communities and expand recreation opportunities for Pennsylvania families.
Mark Davis, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability: “On behalf of the Individuals with ID/A and their families our members serve, I want to thank Governor Shapiro for his commitment to address the chronic underfunding this system has endured for decades. This budget proposal will help address the workforce crisis that has led to devastating service reductions and the elimination of programs that these individuals need to thrive and remain at home or in their communities. The fact that the Governor wants to help us eliminate the waiting list is especially gratifying. This waiting list causes intolerable hardships for these individuals and their families, and it has to end. We look forward to working with the Governor’s team and lawmakers in the coming months to make sure that these proposals are included in the final budget.”
Better PA Executive Director Angela Valvano: “Better PA works to advance policies that improve the lives of Pennsylvania’s families and communities. In today’s budget address, Governor Shapiro emphasized policy priorities that have garnered bipartisan support and should become part of the enacted state budget this year. If the priority is to help working families make ends meet, Governor Shapiro’s call to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 2009, his proposal for a $124.9 million tax credit to offset childcare or dependent care, and his proposal to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible will should the tense here actually be will? be part of the final budget. If the priority is to give citizens more confidence in their system of elections, then the almost $6 million in funding for election security measures and voter education and outreach will be part of the final budget. Budget negotiations begin in earnest today, and we will find out a lot about the priorities of Senate Republicans in the coming months. We applaud Governor Shapiro for a budget proposal that makes Pennsylvania’s working families the number one priority.”
Education Law Center: Governor Shapiro has put forward the historic education budget increase that would start PA down the path toward adequate funding for all. We applaud his commitment.
Public Interest Law Center: In his budget address, @GovernorShapiro just stood up for a transformative plan laid out by the BEF commission, starting this year. It could mean thousands more teachers, counselors, librarians, and school nurses, delivering what every child deserves: the opportunity to thrive.
Laura Boyce, Pennsylvania Executive Director of Teach Plus: As Governor Shapiro said in his address, this year we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do right by our kids. At the one-year anniversary of the Commonwealth Court decision declaring Pennsylvania’s current school funding unconstitutional, the governor has chosen to meet this moment with bold leadership, proposing an investment of $1.8 billion as the down payment on a multiyear commitment outlined by the Basic Education Funding Commission to bring our system into constitutional compliance. The governor is making good on his commitment to fully fund our public schools and bring real opportunity to kids in Pennsylvania, and we will be fighting alongside him to ensure these commitments are passed into law in this year’s budget.
PSBA CEO Nathan Mains: The Governor is demonstrating his commitment to public education and we are hopeful that this focus will lead to legislative action on the many long-standing issues important to our members.
PA Health Access: We are very pleased to see that Governor Shapiro’s budget address highlighted serious healthcare affordability and access issues facing Pennsylvania families, including medical debt, drug prices, hospital closures, and the cost of health insurance.
Better PA Executive Director Angela Valvano: Better PA works to advance policies that improve the lives of Pennsylvania’s families and communities. In today’s budget address, Governor Shapiro emphasized policy priorities that have garnered bipartisan support and should become part of the enacted state budget this year. If the priority is to help working families make ends meet, Governor Shapiro’s call to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 2009, his proposal for a $124.9 million tax credit to offset childcare or dependent care, and his proposal to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible will should the tense here actually be will? be part of the final budget. If the priority is to give citizens more confidence in their system of elections, then the almost $6 million in funding for election security measures and voter education and outreach will be part of the final budget. Budget negotiations begin in earnest today, and we will find out a lot about the priorities of Senate Republicans in the coming months. We applaud Governor Shapiro for a budget proposal that makes Pennsylvania’s working families the number one priority.
Jerry Jordan, President, PFT Local 3: I applaud Governor Josh Shapiro for his focus on rectifying Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional system of funding public education. For years, we have fought tirelessly to ensure that students and staff have the resources they need and deserve to thrive. While we have seen increases in funding over the past several years, we now have a court ruling that, with finality, states that the way we fund public education in our Commonwealth is unconstitutional (and indeed, immoral). By implementing the Governor’s plan, we have a chance to invest nearly $1.1 Billion in public education, including a nearly $900 Million investment in a new formula that addresses the inequities laid out in the historic school fuopnding lawsuit. For years, this inequitable distribution of funding has meant that Black and Brown students and students experiencing poverty have been shortchanged and have been denied essential resources.”
Linda Orndoff, a Participant-Directed Home Care Attendant from Coal Center in southwestern Pennsylvania: I now make only $12.52 an hour as a caregiver who devotes every day of my week to caring for my mother and grandson. What’s especially hard to swallow is that I made the same $12.52 in 1980, and I couldn’t live on it then either. It is heartening to hear Governor Shapiro once again call on the legislature to raise the minimum wage to $15 – as we should. Fortunately, we do not need to wait on the legislature to pass a standalone minimum wage bill that may never come in order to lift up home care workers. Increasing the funding for home care, along with requiring home care agencies to invest that funding in their workforce, would lift workers’ wages now.
Sherri Landis, Executive Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania: When Governor Shapiro was on the campaign trail, he promised to change how state government works for the people. I am thrilled he is keeping his word as it relates to the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and I/DA communities. Governor Shapiro’s investment in the I/DD system will help individuals receive the services they desperately need.
Signe Espinoza, Planned Parenthood PA Advocates Executive Director: For decades, taxpayers footed the bill of deception – but this year they won’t. A budget proposal shows us where a Governor’s values and principles are, and Governor Shapiro’s clearly lie with access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care. It is no small feat to eliminate an entrenched program, even one that is harmful, and we applaud this Governor’s commitment.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence: PCADV commends Gov. Shapiro for proposing a budget that includes a critical increase in funding for domestic violence services. This increase will begin to fill gaps paramount to ensuring victim safety.
Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network: We are very pleased to see that Governor Shapiro’s budget address highlighted serious healthcare affordability and access issues facing Pennsylvania families, including medical debt, prescription drug prices, hospital closures, and the cost of health insurance. For a small investment of $4 million, the Governor’s proposal would wipe out $400 million in medical debt for families across Pennsylvania. If combined with new protections that prevent medical debt from happening in the first place, this would be a game-changer for families struggling with medical costs.
Salewa Ogunmefun, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Voice: We appreciate that Governor Shapiro recognizes the need to combat election-related disinformation and make sure that all Pennsylvanians have accurate information about our election processes. We look forward to working with him to secure this funding, and to enact other meaningful election reforms, including same day voter registration, and early in-person voting.
Chris Sandvig Mobilify SWPA Executive Director: Transit means freedom of movement for millions of Pennsylvania families, and Governor Shapiro’s announcement is great news for all of us. This funding increase will advance mobility as part of an all-of-the-above approach that strategically combines local, state and federal support. We encourage lawmakers to work together to enact this plan.
Check out what people are seeing and reading about Governor Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal all across the Commonwealth:
MEDIA CONTACT: Governor’s Press Office, email@example.com
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