Budget Bill Heads to Governor without Funding

The Senate & House approved a $31.996 billion budget which has been sent to the governor’s desk for approval. Governor Wolf is not expected to sign the budget until the legislature enacts the revenue portion of the budget, which isn’t expected until after the July 4th holiday.

Until the revenue plan is finalized, we must continue our efforts to advocate for raising recurring revenues in a way that fixes our upside-down tax system. We ask all members to email, call, and visit their state representatives, and senators and demand new tax revenue.   Our primary ask is for the General Assembly to approve new revenue that takes the burden off of working families and fully funds human services.  

The leadership of the General Assembly has indicated lawmakers are looking to significantly borrow to fund the revenue deficit, leaving working families footing the bill, while big oil, corporations, and the rich, are not paying their fair share.

Summary of the approved budget by department: http://bit.ly/2ssarDG

News Clips from around the state regarding the PA State Budget: http://bit.ly/2tc9kFc

Budget bill heads to governor, without funding

Associated Press, 6/30/2017

The main spending bill in a $32 billion bipartisan budget package has past the PA Legislature on the state fiscal year’s final day, although lawmakers don’t know how it’ll all be funded. The House voted 173-27 on Friday, hours after the Senate voted 43-7. The package was unveiled a day earlier, after being negotiated in secret. Democratic Gov.Tom Wolf supports it, but has yet to say whether he’ll sign it if lawmakers can’t figure out how to pay for the spending plan. Both chambers recessed until at least Wednesday, and lawmakers say they’ll try next week to find $2 billion-plus to cover the shortfall.

Below you will find a summary analysis via the Associated Press.  Local 668 staff, as well as SEIU PA State Council, and our partners are reviewing the impact this budget will have on Local 668 members.  

Highlights of PA budget agreement as lawmakers prep for votes

Associated Press, 6/30/2017

PA lawmakers will take up a $32 billion bipartisan spending package on the state fiscal year’s final day, although lawmakers don’t know how it’ll be paid for. Senate and House floor votes were expected Friday, less than 24 hours after the details became public. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports it. Lawmakers say they’ll try next week to find $2 billion-plus to cover a two-year projected shortfall … It carries more money for schools, pension obligations and services for the intellectually disabled. It demands belt-tightening across government agencies and in Medicaid, and counts on savings from a shrinking prisons population. Here are highlights of a bipartisan spending plan for PA state government’s 2017-18 budget year that starts Saturday:

THE BIG PICTURE

  • Increases spending through the state’s main bank account to $32 billion. Approves about $870 million, or almost 3%, in spending above the last enacted budget of just over $31.5 billion, including approximately $400 million to go on the just-ending fiscal year’s books. Otherwise, increases spending $54 million, or 0.2%.
  • Lacks legislation to fund it and requires more than $2 billion in yet-to-be-identified cash to balance, according to lawmakers.

SPECIFICS

  • Plans to merge the Dept of Corrections and PA Board of Probation & Parole into a new Department of Criminal Justice.
  • Plans to merge the Human Services & Health departments, but keep the Aging and Drug & Alcohol Programs departments separate.

EDUCATION

  • Increases aid for public school operations & instruction by $100 million, an increase of nearly 2% to $6 billion.
  • Increases early-childhood education funding by $30 million, an increase of 15% to $226 million.
  • Increases special education funding by $25 million, an increase of 2% to above $1.1 billion.
  • Increases state-owned university aid by $9 million, an increase of 2% to $453 million; otherwise holds higher education funding flat at $1.6 billion.

DEPARTMENT SPENDING

  • EDUCATION: Grows 3.5% to $12.2 billion.
  • HUMAN SERVICES: Cut 2% to $12.1 billion.
  • PRISONS AND PAROLE: Cut by less than 1% to $2.5 billion.
  • COURTS: Held flat at $355.5 million.
  • GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Grows 5% to $325 million.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Cut by less than 1% to $148 million.
  • ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE: Held flat at $96 million.

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