HARRISBURG – Today, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) voted in favor of a fiscally responsible 2022-2023 General Fund Budget to provide relief for Pennsylvanians, encourage economic development, and invest in the safety and prosperity of the Commonwealth’s next generation.
The fiscally sound budget transfers $2.1 Billion to the Commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the balance in the fund to nearly $5 billion. According to independent projections, the FY 2022-23 budget will have an ending balance of $3.6 billion. The budget agreement does not include any tax increases and is structured in a way to ensure there are no tax increases in the years ahead.
Mastriano highlighted the following areas of the budget in expressing support:
Tax Relief and Economic Growth
- The budget begins a historic reduction in the Corporate Net Income Tax with a 1% rate cut to 8.99% beginning in January 2023, and 0.5% annual reductions thereafter until the rate reaches 4.99% in 2031
- Provides tax incentives for small businesses to grow and invest in Pennsylvania
- Creates a Pennsylvania Child Care Tax Credit equal to 30% of the federal credit to support working families
- 70% enhancement of property tax and rent rebates for seniors
Education and School Choice
- The budget includes historic increases of $850 million in the Pre-K through K-12 education system:
- $100 million (8% increase) for special education
- $100 million through a new General Fund appropriation for school safety and security to address physical safety and security at schools
- The budget increases the amount of tax credits available for scholarships under the EITC/OSTC programs by $125 million to allow more kids to escape failing schools and obtain scholarships for charter and private school alternatives
- Removes misguided regulations that would hurt charter school growth
Nursing Homes and Caring for Elderly
- $150 million to increase staffing levels at nursing homes
- $250 million for long-term facilities
Supporting Law and Order
- $260 million for Police Departments to hire officers and combat violent crime
- 200 Additional Pennsylvania State Troopers to protect communities throughout the state.
- Expedites the transition of the Pennsylvania State Police to the $500 million annual cap from the Motor License Fund and makes an additional $175 million of funding available for highway and bridge construction
- This will clear the way to begin work on slashing the gas tax
Support for Farmers and Open Land Preservation
- 29% increase in funding for agriculture to support our farmers and boost food production
- Funding for Conservation Districts increases by $6.8 million
Support for Our Veterans
- 21% increase in funding for our military veterans:
- 26% increase for veterans homes
- 14% increase for veterans outreach
Mastriano was successful in amending two of his bill proposals into the final budget: SB 1297 (Property Tax and Rent Rebate Recovery Payments), and SB 1193 (Law Enforcement Recovery Funding).
He also circulated a letter of support for an increase to the EITC program and publicly called for an increase in funding for physical security to protect children in schools. Both priorities were included in the final budget.
“Senator Mastriano played an important role in advancing key priorities for Pennsylvanians in this year’s budget,” said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39). “We were pleased to work with and have Senator Mastriano’s support on cornerstone issues such as election integrity, expansion of school choice, enhancements for school security, fully funding our police, and support for our seniors.”
“We held the line on the governor’s prior budget proposals that would have inflated the budget and hiked taxes, said Mastriano. “That’s why we’re in position today to put forward a budget that improves education, cuts taxes, fully funds our law enforcement, and takes care of our veterans and our elderly. This budget makes crucial investments in our commonwealth without jeopardizing our financial future and transfers $2.1 Billion to the Rainy-Day Fund, bringing the total balance to $5 billion. I`m also pleased that several of the proposals I spearheaded were passed as part of the final budget.”
Contact: Josh Herman