Hickernell Supports On-Time Budget, Holds Line on Taxes

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Dave Hickernell (R-Lancaster/Dauphin) today said he was pleased to have been able to support a third consecutive state budget that was completed on time without raising taxes.  The $28.4 billion spending plan boosts basic education by $123 million and makes important investments in health services, programs for senior citizens, and agriculture.

In particular, the 2013-14 state budget allocates an additional $123 million to basic education over the 2012-13 budget, adds $10 million for long-term senior care, and adds $4.6 million to state Department of Agriculture programs while still holding spending below the rate of inflation.

“I am pleased that for the third year in a row we have met our duty to pass an on-time budget,” Hickernell said.  “This is a fiscally responsible budget that funds the core functions of government as it stays within our means and still funds basic education at more than $5.526 billion the highest level in our Commonwealth’s history.”

For Lancaster and Dauphin county school districts within the 98th District, the funding levels for 2013-14 are:

  • Columbia Borough School District, Lancaster County - $8,715,399, an increase of $195,176.
  • Donegal School District, Lancaster County - $10,819,177, an increase of $353,258.
  • Elizabethtown Area School District, Lancaster County - $13,816,478, an increase of $448,654.
  • Hempfield School District, Lancaster County - $22,442,818, an increase of $773,152.
  • Lower Dauphin School District, Dauphin County - $15,653,344, an increase of $438,644.
  • Middletown Area School District, Dauphin County -  $11,488,762, an increase of $274,389.

These totals include Basic Education Funding, Accountability Block Grants, student transportation and charter school student transportation, school employees’ Social Security, and the state’s portion of pension obligations for school employees.

The budget also continues funding increases for Head Start and Pre-K counts early childhood programs by $6.4 million for a total of $126.5 million.  It also adds $5 million for Early Intervention to children ages 3 to 5 with developmental disabilities.

“Also key to the economy of Lancaster County are the investments in agriculture,” Hickernell said.  Conservation district funding has been boosted by $2 million, an increase made possible by augmenting that line item with the impact fee money we imposed on natural gas exploration companies in Pennsylvania when we passed Act 13 in the previous legislative session.”

Representative Dave Hickernell
98th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Charles Lardner