Round-up: Gov. Wolf Solidifies Legacy with $3.7 Billion Increase for Education, Additional Support for Ensured Pennsylvania Success in Capstone Budget
July 13, 2022
On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf celebrated a budget that solidified his commitment to education at all levels with a historic increase in funding of $1.8 billion and additional investments for safer communities and success for Pennsylvanians.
Coverage highlights of the governor’s $45.2 billion capstone budget, which makes long overdue investments and secures Pennsylvania’s financial future:
Gov. Tom Wolf has signed the $45.2 billion state budget that provides a legacy-cementing investment in education, positions Pennsylvania to be more economically competitive in attracting companies and leaves the state in good financial shape for his successor.
“Securing $1.8 billion for education in this budget furthers these efforts and results in a historic $3.7 billion in investments my administration has made in education at all levels over the last eight years. I’m extremely proud of what we have accomplished,” Wolf said in a statement.
The budget projects having a $3.6 billion surplus at the end of the fiscal year and deposits $2.1 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the balance up to $5 billion.
The budget includes significant funding for public schools, environmental programs and long-term care facilities. It will also leave some $5 billion in the state’s rainy day fund, create a multibillion-dollar cushion for next year and cut the tax on corporate net income.
Coverage highlights of the governor’s historic funding for pre-k through college education:
Education is one of the biggest winners in the new Pennsylvania budget signed by Governor Tom Wolf on Friday. The new $45.2 billion budget is about a three percent increase in state spending from the last fiscal year and includes an additional $1.8 billion for education.
The finalized $45.2 billion state budget includes a historic more than $1 billion increased investment in Pennsylvania’s K-12 public schools that serve 1.7 million students.
That includes a $525 million increase in basic education that supports school district operations, for a total of more than $7.6 billion, plus a $225 million supplement to that subsidy for the historically underfunded districts that disproportionately serve students of color, students in poverty, students with disabilities and English learners.
It boosts funding for special education by $100 million to more than $1.3 billion. And in response to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, it includes $100 million for school-based mental health services and $100 million for school safety and security grants.
Post-Gazette | Pa. state system gets historic increase in funding
A now-approved 16% jump in commonwealth funding for Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities — the largest one-year increase in their history, say leaders — will enable a fourth straight tuition freeze for 89,000 students, even with inflation topping 8%.
State System leaders including Chancellor Daniel Greenstein have called the increase crucial to a six-year effort to revitalize and redesign the system, including the controversial mergers of six of its 14 universities into two institutions in the west and northeast.
Coverage highlights of the governor’s continued commitment to improving the safety of Pennsylvania’s schools and communities:
Community violence prevention organizations will get $75 million in one-time federal funds, plus an annual appropriation for $30 million to support these programs across the state — a total of $105 million toward violence intervention and prevention programs.
Mr. Wolf also approved the legislative budget deal’s plan to spend $135 million in one-time federal funds to provide local law enforcement agencies with support grants to help them address hiring and other current issues.
State police will also be able to hire 200 additional cadets this year as part of this year’s budget.
Coverage highlights of the investments being made in the success of Pennsylvanians:
Individuals who recently received rebates through Pennsylvania’s property tax and rent rebate program can soon expect a little more help in paying to keep a roof over their heads under the state budget that Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on Friday.
The 2022-23 state spending plan totaling $45.2 billion when state and federal American Rescue Plan money are factored together, provides for a one-time 70% bonus rebate for income-eligible senior citizens or permanently disabled individuals 18 years or older.
This budget includes resources that place Pennsylvania families in high regard. It boasts $140 million in direct property tax relief, $375 million for safe and affordable housing and $100 million for adult mental health services, among other improvements for taxpayers.
Pennsylvania Capital Star | State budget will give environmental efforts a funding boost
The spending plan includes a $535,000 increase to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, $100 million to support the rehabilitation, repair, and development of parks and forest areas, and a $5 million increase to the Conservation District Fund, as well as $220 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to establish a clean streams fund.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which has previously said that it needs more than $1.4 billion for infrastructure repair and maintenance projects at the commonwealth’s 121 state parks, will receive a total of more than $151 million in the most recent budget.
DCNR will also receive $56 million for Forest Infrastructure projects to support the development of three new state parks.