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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 21, 2016 02:14 PM
From: Representative Rich Irvin
To: All House members
Subject: State Prison Funding
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation aimed at restoring $939 million in funding for our state’s correctional institutions that was recently eliminated from the 2015-16 state budget by Gov. Tom Wolf as part of his veto to House Bill 1460. As approved by the House and Senate, these correctional institutions were slated to receive nearly $1.9 billion in funding to support their operations for the current fiscal year.

As one of the largest individual expenditures in the budget, funding for the state’s correctional institutions is vital to the safety and well-being of the people of this Commonwealth. Having two correctional facilities in my district, I have been made aware of the long hours demanded of the corrections personnel and the security risk that lack of hiring causes. It is our responsibility to see that our citizens and constituents are protected and safe from the convicted criminals incarcerated in our correctional facilities. It is also our responsibility as elected Representatives to insure those persons who work for the Department of Corrections have all the financial support necessary to manage these convicted criminals safely and efficiently. These men and women who work in these facilities, many of whom work under dangerous circumstances each day, deserve to know their efforts are being supported by the state. Additionally, it’s important that these institutions have the resources needed to help rehabilitate those who find themselves imprisoned, many whom suffer from severe mental illness.

While the governor has made clear his disapproval of the budget that made its way to his desk, there should be no reason that our state correctional institutions should be held hostage or used as leverage in future budget discussions. This is the last place we should be jeopardizing safety and security in place of politics. Please consider joining me in supporting the restoration of these important state funds.

Introduced as HB1801