HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a $45.2 billion General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 that meets the needs of Pennsylvanians today without creating multi-billion-dollar budget deficits in the future, according to Sen. Ward, who voted for the measure.
“This budget is a product of a lot of hard work and is fiscally responsible for both this year and the next several years. First and foremost, with economic uncertainty and fears of a recession looming, we were able to avoid tax increases and save for the future to help weather those storms if they come. The budget agreement does not include any broad-based tax increases and is structured in a way to minimize the risk of tax increases in the years ahead. Also, we were able to include a $2.1 billion transfer to the Rainy-Day Fund in this budget, bringing the total balance to nearly $5 billion.
Second, the budget represents a move towards more transparency and accountability in how we spend our tax dollars. For years money has been spent through restricted accounts or from accounts not intended for that purpose. Some of those funds, such as the Multimodal Fund money being used for the state police, have been moved out of those restricted accounts and into the General Fund. This will make it easier for the public to know exactly how we are spending their hard-earned tax-dollars.
Third, the budget has several investments in our children and their education. It includes an additional $125 million in Education Improvement Tax Credits to ensure more students can learn in the educational environment that best suits their needs. Increased funding is also dedicated in this year’s budget to ensure our schools are safe and secure. $100 million is appropriated for the Ready to Learn Block Grant program to address school-based mental health, and $100 million in funding is directed to a new General Fund appropriation for School Safety and Security to address physical safety and security at schools.
Lastly, building on our efforts last year to help address the serious financial challenges of our nursing homes and long-term care providers, this budget includes $150 million for costs related to nursing home staffing, $250 million in ARPA funding for long-term living programs, and $20 million for supplementary payments to personal care homes.
This budget represents a bi-partisan desire to both invest in Pennsylvania while being responsible and mindful of the future, and I believe this budget does just that.”
CONTACT: Nathan Akers 717- 787-2421