Today, Governor Tom Wolf presented his 2018-19 Budget Proposal, asking for $33.2 billion in spending, a $1.2 billion, or 3.7 percent, increase from the current fiscal year.
“While our revenues have begun to rise due to a recovering national economy, over the past decade the Commonwealth has faced deficits, cut costs, and worked to plug budget holes, said Senator Randy Vulakovich. “As such, I don’t believe we can afford to increase spending by this amount. We can and must be very careful that we don’t hamstring future budgets by our current wish lists. No matter what, I am committed to enacting a fiscally responsible budget in a timely manner while protecting the interests of Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.”
While the Governor is not requesting a broad-based tax increase this year, he is continuing to push for a Marcellus Shale extraction tax and a $25 per-capita fee for municipalities that rely on the State Police for local police coverage.
The Governor is requesting a $100 million increase in Basic Education Funding ($6.09 billion); a $40 million increase for early childhood education; and, a $20 million increase in special education funding. The State System of Higher Education would see a $15 million increase, while state funding for community colleges and state-related universities is flat lined in the Governor’s request.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a three-week series of Departmental Budget Hearings beginning on February 20. The hearings provide an opportunity for the Appropriations Committee to hear cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials detail their plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30.
Contact: Nate Silcox (717) 787-6538