Harrisburg, PA – In a last-minute effort at the end of June, the state House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan budget agreement, based on the original House Republican “smart budget.”
Lawmakers say it answers the challenge to deal with a potential $3 billion shortfall and begins the process of reinventing Pennsylvania government. Without raising the income or sales taxes, the budget provides additional funding for key education and public safety programs. House Bill 218 passed the House on June 30 by a vote of 173-27.
The bipartisan budget supports additional funding for schools, pension obligations and services for people with mental disabilities. However, the budget demands additional savings across state government agencies and programs, including Medicaid. It also shows savings from the shrinking prison population.
Although many of the lawmakers admit that it’s not a perfect budget, they say it’s at least a good compromise. They agree that it’s better than the 9-month budget impasse situation that started in 2015. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk.