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Senator Schwank remarks on passage of the 2018/19 State Budget
Senator Schwank remarks on passage of the 2018/19 State Budget

I’m pleased to say that my Senate and House colleagues and I have passed a responsible, on-time budget with no tax increase, which is our main responsibility as elected officials. This budget is the result of months of bipartisanship work and will ensure that important services remain available for us in Berks as well as across the Commonwealth. Here are a few highlights:

Health and Human Services:

The Department of Health and Human Services will receive funding to expand its home visitation programs. Nursing homes in certain regions of the state, including Berks County, will receive a 1 percent increase in the fee-for-service program starting January 1, 2019.

HHS will also see funding to reduce the backlog of birth certificate requests in the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which is something my office helps constituents with often.


I’m encouraged by the investments this budget makes in education. Specifically, the $20 million increase in Pre-Kindergarten programs and a $21.26 million increase in Early Intervention services. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) will receive a 3.3 percent increase in funding, that’s $15 million to our state schools.


Dairy FarmThe Department of Agriculture will receive $3 million to combat the Spotted Lanternfly. This will be especially helpful now as the eggs that survived winter have already begun hatching.

The Rodale Institute in Maxatawny Township will receive $500,000 for organic and sustainable agriculture research.

I’m especially pleased that $5 million is going to be made available for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing and marketing grants in support of the state’s dairy industry.

The Department of Community and Economic Development is receiving $1 million in Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which stemmed from legislation I introduced that was adopted into the budget bill.

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is a major concern of mine, and I know it is for many of you as well.  I am doing my best to provide the most up-to-date information for handling these harmful pests. Right now, banding your trees with sticky tape is the most effective way to kill the lanternflies in their nymph stage. While special tape is available, any adhesive tape, like duct tape, should be effective. Another option is to contact your local lawn and garden company and have them use chemical treatment to kill the insect. Finally, has a list of over-the-counter pest sprays that have reasonable success rates along with general information about how to handle the spotted lanternfly.

Being Social

Twitter/Facebook Facebook Twitter It’s a privilege to be your state senator, so it is important to me to be in touch with you.

I really like face-to-face meetings but understand that in this busy world, sometimes that isn’t possible. Feel free to call my office to ask questions or make suggestions. Also, you may connect with me through my pages on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow me for regular updates and comments about what’s happening in the district and in Harrisburg.

Offices to Serve You

  District Office
210 George Street
Suite 201
Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 929-2151
Fax: (610) 929-2576
Harrisburg Office
457 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203011
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3011
Phone: (717) 787-8925
Fax: (717) 772-0578