– Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Butler/Lawrence) issued the following statement after voting “no” to an irresponsible 2023-24 state budget.
“Apparently, Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable children are not a priority for Gov. Josh Shapiro. After supporting $100 million that would provide money to children from K-12 in the lowest performing 15% of schools in statewide performance standards, the governor changed his tune and has pledged to veto that item in the budget. That is totally unacceptable. The PA Award for Student Success (PASS) scholarship program would give students better educational opportunities. During his campaign, Shapiro supported school choice for our students, but when push came to shove, he sided with his Democrat colleagues and special interest groups.
“A total of 88 high schools in the state would have been impacted by the PASS scholarships, 33 of those schools have zero students who are proficient in math. Make no mistake about it, the governor’s priority is not our children’s education.
“The budget misses the opportunity to address many financial pitfalls Pennsylvania is facing. The plan is a 6% increase in spending over last year’s budget. This level of spending is unsustainable and would lead to a tax hike in the near future. While costs have gone up in all sectors of the economy, increasing a budget by this amount is not sustainable.
“This budget does nothing to address our structural deficit while using surplus funds to prop up our balance sheet.
“This budget falls short of being fiscally responsible. Protecting taxpayers will remain one of my top priorities.”
Representative Aaron Bernstine
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)