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2090 Linglestown Rd.
Suite 100
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone:  (717) 651-0100
Fax:  (717) 651-0801

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Millersburg, PA 17061
Phone: (717) 692-0833
Fax: (717) 692-7071

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Room 41B East Wing
Capitol Complex
PO Box 202104
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Ph: 717-787-1230
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E-Mail: 
shelm@pahousegop.com

Helm Applauds House Budget for Restoring Education Funding
5/11/2011

House Republicans have introduced their version of Pennsylvania’s 2011-12  budget.  The proposal restores some of the education cuts included in Gov. Tom Corbett’s spending plan unveiled in March.  

State Rep. Sue Helm (R-Susquehanna Township) applauded the revised budget plan and called it a more sensible approach to resolving the Commonwealth’s budget woes.  “The Republican proposal spends more money on education than the governor wanted,” Helm said.  “I feel the cuts he proposed simply went too deep and would have disastrous consequences.” 

The House budget spends $27.3 billion, the same amount proposed by the governor.  But it boosts spending for both basic and higher education.  The House Republican plan:

  • Increases funding for kindergarten through 12th grade by $223 million.
  • Appropriates $100 million for Accountability Block Grants, which school districts use to fund tutoring and other programs.
  • Includes $43 million to help districts pay a share of their Social Security costs.
  • Increases higher education funding by $377 million over Corbett’s budget.
  • Appropriates 85 percent of last year’s funding for the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education and 75 percent for the four state-related universities, including Penn State and Pitt.  

 “Students, teachers and parents made it crystal clear,” Helm said. “They are extremely concerned about the impact the governor’s reductions would have on the state’s education system.  I’m pleased we’ve been able to restore some of those cutbacks.”  

The House budget trims state spending for public welfare programs by $470 million, but continues the support for those residents who truly need a safety net while eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.  Despite the reduction, spending for the Department of Public Welfare is still 1 percent above last year’s levels.   

House Republican leaders also proposed a 5 percent decrease in spending for the Legislature, estimated to total $15 million.   

“During these tough economic times, belt tightening is required throughout government,” said Helm.  “We must continue to look for savings within our own caucuses.” 

Helm also agrees with the decision to hold off on spending an unexpected budget surplus of  $500 million.  “We don’t know what fiscal challenges lie ahead,” said Helm.  “That money should stay in the Rainy Day Fund for now.  We can’t fall back into the bad spending habits of the past which resulted in Pennsylvania’s $4 billion deficit.” 

The House Republican budget plan was moved out of committee on Wednesday and will be considered by the House of Representatives the week of May 23. 

State Representative Sue Helm
104th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Andy Briggs
abriggs@pahousegop.com
717.260.6474
SueHelm.net
Facebook.com/RepHelm

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