PA Lawmakers Respond to Governor's 2024/25 Budget Address
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro's budget proposal is out, and lawmakers across the state are offering their initial responses to the $48.3 billion plan.
Democrats are praising the increased spending.
“We’re putting all these up front investment into people, into the future of the commonwealth," said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-01), the majority chair for the House Policy Committee. "Because we have been so negligent in our duty to make those kinds of investments.”
Republicans were less impressed with the final number.
“Spending, spending, spending. His budget last year wasn’t like that. This year, I’m going to call it the Shapiro spending plan," said Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), President Pro Tempore of the Senate. "Because he spends exorbitantly on so many things without telling us where the money is coming from.”
Several of the initiatives have hopes of bipartisan support.
“The new proposals do offer new revenue streams," said Bizzarro, "through recreational use of marijuana and expanding gaming here in Pennsylvania- two priorities that there is a common ground on.”
“On the economic development side, there are things we need to be doing to increase the demographics in the younger age group of our commonwealth," said Rep. Clint Owlett (R-68). "I think we can find some common ground on that.”
Elected officials had lots to unpack from the hour and a half speech-
“I think that its very important that we take care of our veterans, who’ve served and sacrificed for us. That I was pleased to see," said Rep. Bob Merski (D-02). "I was a little concerned with some of the flat funding and minor increases in early childhood education.”
- and are eager for the process ahead.
“I think it’s good for people to realize this is just the Governor’s proposal. Every year we go through this," said Owlett. "He talks about his priorities, and puts it in his budget. Then we actually work together and try and come up with something that we believe could actually work in the commonwealth.”