2016-2017 budget secures $250 million for public education

Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats came together to complete the budget. Together, we’ve made a historic investment in education that will bring us closer to restoring the cuts of the past and we’ve made fighting the opioid crisis that has struck our commonwealth a priority.

The budget will help ensure student success, and improve access to a high-quality education — regardless of zip code. It provides an additional $250 million for public schools, including increases for Pre-K and special education, and it provides a nearly $40 million increase for higher education.

In addition to making a historic investment in education, the budget secures critical funding to improve treatment options for Pennsylvanians struggling with substance abuse disorder and will help more than 4,500 people gain access to treatment.

Since taking office, I’ve made combating the opioid epidemic a priority. Expanding Medicaid has helped more than 62,000 people receive treatment for addiction and equipping police with Naloxone has saved more than 1,000 lives.

Our fight against this epidemic is not finished, and now that this year’s budget is complete it is imperative that we all continue to work together to focus on this public health crisis. While the budget allows us to expand treatment for individuals suffering from addiction, we must do more to address this matter that is plaguing all of our communities. My administration will keep its focus on this issue, and I will continue preparing for the upcoming special session.

I have fought hard to turn things around and move the Commonwealth forward. In addition to the historic funding for education in this budget and efforts to fight the opioid crisis, I have worked together with Republicans and Democrats to achieve major progress on issues including the legalization of medical marijuana, historic liquor reform, and a fair funding formula for our schools.

Together, we can make government work for the people, and while we still have more work to do, I’m proud of the work we’ve done together.

Thank you.