Toepel Supports Final 2012-13 State Budget
HARRISBURG – Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) voted in favor of a final 2012-13 state budget that today passed through the General Assembly, which contains no tax increases and avoids the cuts to education that public universities saw in last year’s budget.

“In order for us to follow through with a nearly level-funded budget that keeps us living within our means, crucial decisions had to be made,” said Toepel. “The final draft of this budget is much rosier than what the governor had proposed in February. Thanks to better-than-expected revenue collections in recent months, we were able to avoid many of the cuts to education and human services programs that were originally proposed.”

With the addition of $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant program, all school districts will be funded at the same level or get more than they did last budget year. This budget also allocated $50 million for distressed school districts.

In fact, the estimated 2012-13 Basic Education Funding, Accountability Block Grant and other education funding for school districts in Montgomery County compared to this budget year is, combined, more than $20 million.

The House also restored $246 million for higher education, which means state-owned and state-related universities will continue to be level funded for fiscal year 2012-13. The 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will receive a $412.75 million appropriation for the fiscal year that starts on Sunday. Community colleges will also be level funded this year.

Other highlights of the budget include the restoration of $84 million to the governor’s proposed 20 percent cut to human services, which will allow Montgomery County and other communities across the state to deliver vital services to its most vulnerable citizens. This budget also added $17.8 million to reduce the intellectual disability waiting list by 700 special education graduates and 430 individuals who reside with elderly caregivers.

Toepel was also pleased that $38 million was preserved for Keystone Recreation, Parks and Conservation Fund, $20 million for Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase and $6 million for Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Fund.

State Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Lauren Whetzel
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