Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania is getting closer to approving the state budget.
The House Republican Caucus introduced their proposed general fund budget, and it was passed by the House Appropriations Committee with bipartisan support.
The proposal features no new taxes, no tax increases, and no additional fees.
The proposal is being considered on the House floor today, then will move to the Senate and eventually Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk if it passes there.
The budget has to be approved by July 1 if lawmakers want to avoid the budget impasse situation that has happened in previous years.
If there is no passed budget, it would put certain state government spending on hold until a budget is in place.
According to the House Republican Caucus press release:
HARRISBURG – Continuing a multi-year effort to hold the line on taxes, fees and spending, the House Republican Caucus introduced its 2019-20 General Fund budget today, and it was passed by the House Appropriations Committee with bipartisan support. The proposal features no new taxes, no tax increases and no additional fees.
The House budget proposal focuses on several key priorities to stand up for Pennsylvania taxpayers and protect their hard-earned money today and in the future. At the top of the agenda is saving money and growing the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Thanks to smart budgeting the proposed budget includes a deposit of more than $250 million into the state’s primary “savings account.”
“That level of savings is thanks to years of responsible budgets from the House Republican Caucus,” House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said. “Our Commonwealth has capitalized on sound economic policies so that we are not asking taxpayers to dig any deeper into their own pockets, and in growing the Rainy Day Fund, we are better positioned to avoid tax increases down the road.”
The total spending proposed is $33.997 billion, a 1.8% increase over the current fiscal year, which is in line with the rate of inflation.
“This proposal invests our state funds in ways that ensure the interests of taxpayers are always kept first,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) adds. “We are making strategic investments in places that matter most to our constituents – growing education funding, special education, and career and technical education. These investments empower Pennsylvanians to educate for success and open up doors to family-sustaining careers for every resident of the Commonwealth.”
PreK through 12th-grade education funding is increased by $432 million, to the highest levels in state history. Special education funding would be increased by $50 million, while career and technical education would receive an increase of $10 million, with separate increases for some of the highest-performing technical schools to help their pathways to success be used across the Commonwealth.
The House Republican proposal also shows major investments in agriculture, the state’s leading industry. The state’s farmers will see an additional $19.5 million in funding in this budget, including the creation of an Agriculture Business and Workforce Investment program, ensuring new farmers have the tools they need to succeed in the Commonwealth.
This proposal will be considered on the House floor Tuesday, June 25.