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06/21/2024 10:59 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=39842
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 15, 2023 01:20 PM
From: Representative Elizabeth Fiedler and Rep. Robert E. Merski, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, Rep. Tarik Khan
To: All House members
Subject: Restarting PlanCon to Address the School Facilities Crisis
 
Too many children, teens, teachers, and staff walk into Pennsylvania school buildings and are exposed to environmental and health hazards. Most Pennsylvania schools were built more than 50 years ago, and many are in dire condition. This crisis, however, is also an opportunity. With targeted state investment, we can improve the health of children, save money by addressing problems before they become harder to fix, make our public infrastructure more energy efficient and resilient, and create thousands of family-sustaining jobs.
 
In the coming weeks, we plan to introduce legislation that would fund the Maintenance Program within the traditional PlanCon school construction program. The Maintenance Program is meant to award funds for vital projects including repairs to roofs, HVAC systems, boilers, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Under this legislation, we propose opening applications only to the new Maintenance Program created under Act 70 for a temporary 3-year period. After this period, the Department of Education would re-open the program for traditional PlanCon projects, with the Maintenance Program returning to its 20% share of available funding. 
 
As a state, we cannot ignore mounting health and structural risks. Without investment now, problems will get worse, and costs will continue to mount, especially with the rising price of supplies and construction. According to the most recent benchmarks, Pennsylvania and its school districts are underfunding school facility capital investments by $2.7 billion annually. A leaky roof does not fix itself.

Join us by co-sponsoring legislation that will address this crisis today before it gets worse.



Introduced as HB87