Harrisburg, June 30, 2013 – In voting for the state’s new $28.4 billion budget and tax code legislation, State Sen. Lisa Boscola said the state is making targeted investments that should help spur economic development and lessen the school funding crunch. She provided the following statement:

“While no budget is ever perfect or satisfies everyone, I am pleased that we were able to leverage state dollars for key jobs and economic development initiatives. The budget also makes a substantive investment in our schools and colleges.

I supported a tax code bill (House Bill 465) that would establish a new Innovate in PA Tax Credit program that will provide $175 million for early-stage venture capital investment through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Program, the Venture Investment Program and the Life Sciences Greenhouses. A fiscal analysis of the credit program reveals a 2.37-to-1 return on investment.

The same legislation establishes the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) program that would fund economic development and job creation efforts in Third Class cities such as Bethlehem. The legislation provides up to 130 acres within the zone. The CRIZ program is a tax-increment financing (TIF) platform utilizing new state taxes raised within the zone to fund infrastructure, construction and debt service.

The state’s spending plan also includes an additional $130 million for our public schools and $30 million in additional funds for schools in growing communities. As co-chair of the bipartisan Community College Caucus, I was very pleased with the state’s support for Pennsylvania’s community colleges, including an additional $1 million in capital improvement funding.

The new budget will also make it possible for law enforcement to take a more aggressive approach to crime. Additional personnel and funding has been allocated for the State Police; more dollars were earmarked for the Attorney General, including a substantial increase in the Child Predator Interception Unit; and $2.5 million was provided for the Attorney General’s innovative Mobile Street Crime Unit.

Again, while I do not agree with everything contained in the budget, this new spending plan overall uses limited resources wisely and provides substantive investments aimed at funding schools, combating crime and helping businesses grow and getting people back to work.

 

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