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BLOG: In the Compromise Budget, A Restoration of Human Services Funding

By: Ted Dallas, Secretary of Human Services

December 13, 2015

After years of reductions in human services funding, the 2015-16 budget agreement takes significant steps to reverse course and move Pennsylvania forward.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a budget framework based on compromises reached in discussions with the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania House.

Governor Tom Wolf is proud to announce that the achievements in this budget are especially significant for human services agencies on the state and local level. These agencies have been in desperate need of help so that they can continue to carry out assistance for some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, disabled persons, and victims of abuse and sexual assault.

The 2015-16 budget includes:

Assistance for county human service programs. An increase of $28 million works to restore a third of damaging human services cuts from the prior administration. The administration is committed to restoring the remaining two thirds within the next two years.

Maximized use of federal funds. By fully utilizing increased federal funds, this budget avoids devastating cuts across all human service agencies and will leverage $680 million in funding that will be phased in over the next two years.

Increased funding for programs that allow individuals to stay in their homes or community-based setting. The 2015-16 budget increases funds for autism and intellectual disability programs, to continue to reduce waiting lists and provide services for over 1,000 people; increases funds for home and community based services, to allow over 2,850 seniors to age in place and approximately 1,800 people with disabilities to remain in their homes; launches a three-year managed care initiative to avoid unnecessary nursing home placements.

Aid for victims of abuse and assault. This budget increases funding for Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis centers.

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