The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is poised to send SB1073, the General Appropriations spending bill, to the Senate today. The new budget bill authorizes important spending for all state programs – although SB1073 authorizes $31.55 billion in spending, the House will send the bill to the Senate without the requisite revenue to produce a balanced budget.
Highlights of the new budget plan includes:
- $200 million of additional funding for basic education;
- $30 million more for early childhood education;
- $20 million more for special education;
- $10 million more for early intervention services;
- Flat funding for Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University;
- $15 million for the opioid crisis;
- $5 million for “emergency addiction treatment through DDAP”;
- $10 million for “behavioral health services” through DHS;
- $80.4 million more is appropriated to reduce the waiting list; and
- $31.2 million in additional funds devoted to services to persons with a disability.
According to Appropriations Chair Bill Adolph (R – Delaware), the proposed spending would be paid for by a mix of revenue sources: increased and new taxes on smoking related products ($480 million), additional revenue from the gaming expansion bill that still awaits a final vote in the House ($267 million), tax amnesty revenue ($129 million), the funds already projected from the recently enacted liquor bill, and $50 million from a license fee for a Philadelphia casino.