Rapp Supports Emergency Funding Package for Schools and Human Services Agencies Crippled by Wolf Budget Veto
HARRISBURG – Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) joined with her Republicans colleagues today in advancing an emergency funding package to deliver critical funding for public education and vital human services that have been withheld due to Gov. Tom’s Wolf’s June 30 veto of the entire state budget.

“After nearly three months of trying to negotiate with the governor to come to a fiscally responsible budget compromise, our public schools and human services providers cannot be expected to operate on the Wolf administration’s empty promises for increased funding,” said Rapp. “Many of these agencies, including those that provide rape crisis and domestic violence services, cancer screenings, programs to children with special needs, and community-based health programs are now being forced to reduce services and taking out interest-accruing loans in order to meet their clients’ needs.”

Rapp also noted that there is an ever-growing number of school districts and non-public schools that desperately need funding to keep their doors open for students.

“Citizens of all ages across the state are now being negatively impacted by this governor’s partisan political posturing for an unprecedented tax increase and unsustainable spending,” said Rapp. “By advancing this emergency funding package, we are simply trying to make sure that no one who needs help is turned away or shortchanged due to the governor’s self-imposed budget impasse.”

House Republicans remain committed to enacting a responsible state budget that funds the core functions of government without passing the burden onto working families and senior citizens. The $11 billion emergency funding plan advanced to the governor’s desk by the state House today is based on recommended line items included in the original budget the General Assembly presented to the governor on June 30 (House Bill 1192), with no new or increased taxes and appropriations higher than last fiscal year in many cases.

If approved, this short-term budget would fund state operations retroactively to July 1 and carrying through to Oct. 31. In addition to four months (or 33.3 percent) of state aid based on House Bill 1192’s levels (which are higher than the 2014-15 state budget), the emergency funding bill would allow $24.3 billion in federal dollars to reach their intended recipients, and PHEAA grants and county child welfare funding would be disbursed at 50 percent.

“Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens deserve better than to be used as pawns in the governor’s ongoing political game for billions more in increased taxes,” said Rapp. “They deserve to be taken care of with the funding we all agree they should have.”

In August, Rapp voted with 114 of her Republican colleagues to override the governor’s veto of 20 specific, non-controversial human services line items that were funded at levels Wolf requested, or higher. The votes needed to override a governor’s veto are 136. House Republicans provided 115 of these votes, but Democrats voted unanimously to deny funding for rape victims, children with intellectual disabilities, breast cancer screenings and community-based health care.

“Whether this emergency funding plan, advanced solely by Legislative Republicans, is signed into law or vetoed, the culprit behind this ongoing state budget impasse remains the same,” said Rapp. “The one person responsible for holding up this year’s state budget is Gov. Tom Wolf and his desire to impose the largest tax increase in Pennsylvania history, which has already been unanimously voted down by myself and every single member of the PA House, both Republicans and Democrats.”

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Representative Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin
RepRapp.com / Facebook.com/RepRapp
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