HARRISBURG – Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) today joined a majority of her colleagues in the House of Representatives in supporting the General Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017-18. House Bill 218
now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf for consideration.
Helm issued the following statement regarding the spending bill, which totals $32 billion:
“There are a number of reasons I was a ‘yes’ vote on House Bill 218, and the first is that it does not include a tax increase. As in budgets of the last few years, we have been able to fund the core functions of state government without placing a heavier burden on the hard-working taxpayers of the 104th District. We were able to accomplish this despite significant increase in mandated spending, such as pensions, health care and human services.
“Second, this budget spends an historic amount on every level of education. Early childhood funding is up $30 million, while $100 million more is going to K-12 education. In addition, funding support for state-related universities, including Penn State, is maintained at current levels. This budget reaffirms our commitment to providing a quality education to young people of all ages.
“Third, nearly $200 million more will go toward improving home and community-based services for adults with intellectual disabilities or autism. Thousands of these individuals are now on waiting lists for care, but that will soon be ending under this budget.
“And finally, $7 million has been allocated to combat what I believe is the No. 1 problem facing communities locally and statewide – the heroin and opioid epidemic. Included is funding to expand access to life-saving naloxone and support additional drug courts.”
The House is expected to return next week to complete companion budget legislation and finalize sources of necessary revenues.
Representative Sue Helm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs