Norristown, PA. − June 30, 2021 – Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-17 Montgomery/Delaware) issued the following statement on her decision to vote ‘No’ for the state budget:
“Last Friday, just before midnight, I cast my ‘NO’ vote on the Pennsylvania state budget for 2021-2022 fiscal year. The final budget, while making significant investments in a number of areas, is short sighted and denies Pennsylvanian numerous opportunities. Through the almost $10 billion surplus, we had the rare opportunity to truly invest in the Commonwealth through education, our workers, and the environment. The final budget misses the mark on all of it.
The public school buildings that our children are learning in are toxic, facing problems with asbestos and lead. This budget does nothing to address these toxic schools, forcing our students and teachers to go back to buildings with the potential to harm their long-term health.
After almost two years of a pandemic that has reinvented how we live our lives, our students are facing a mental health crisis. The budget that passed did not allocate a single dollar towards student mental health that was not federally mandated. This is a disservice to an entire generation of Pennsylvania’s students. Our students deserve more from our budget to protect both their physical and mental health.
I voted to oppose the budget because it does not adequately invest in the Commonwealth’s most critical needs. It fails to address the pervasive inequities in our public education system, promote an aggressive response to climate change, or prepare our lagging public health system for the next pandemic. It also neglects to offer sufficient relief for small businesses and restaurants, close tax loopholes, or provide an increase in our abysmally low minimum wage.
I voted ‘NO’ on the budget because I believe Pennsylvanians deserve a budget that will plan for the long term in a just and equitable way. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the existing inequities in our society, leaving many Pennsylvanians without resources and services they need to survive. Rather than investing in the people, the legislature stashed away billions for a ‘just-in-case’ scenario, which will only harm Pennsylvanians in the long run.
I remain committed to prioritizing and advocating for the needs of my constituents in the 17th Senate District.”