The State House approved it Wednesday 188-10.
There are no tax or fee increases in the budget and the spending increase of 1.7 percent is below the rate of inflation at 2.1 percent, said State Rep. Alex Charlton (R-165).
“I voted in favor of this, as it invests at a record-setting level in education; including basic education, special education, pre-K, higher education, EITC programs, and career and technical education programs,” he said.
The budget allocates $100 million for education investments, such as a $25 million boost to early childhood education funding and an additional $15 million for special education funding. An additional $30 million was made to prepare students and workers for in-demand jobs.
“I was pleased with the commitment to enhance and prioritize public safety in this year’s plan,” Charlton said. “The state’s struggling ambulance companies will see a boost in Medicaid reimbursement rates as well. Under House Bill 2121, an additional $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds would be used to increase reimbursements for Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) services.”
The budget also includes funds to help protect communities by training more state police troopers, caring for those with intellectual disabilities and supplying services for families affected by the opioid crisis, Charlton said.
It should be noted that more the 60 percent of state spending is done through “shadow budgets” that are not part of the General Fund.
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