Governor Wolf and Legislature Complete Commonsense, Bipartisan Budget

Last week, Governor Wolf and the legislature completed a commonsense, bipartisan budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. This budget builds upon Governor Wolf’s commitment to investing in education, school safety, and workforce development, among other areas, and represents a major step towards restoring the state’s fiscal health.

Cost Cutting Measures

Because of Governor Wolf’s tireless efforts to streamline government and invest in programs that have positive economic impacts on Pennsylvania families, he has turned what was once a $2.4 billion deficit into a surplus, making the first deposit in Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day fund since 2006. Here are some of the actions Governor Wolf has taken to reduce costs:

  • Reduced commonwealth staff complement by over 1,700 positions to the lowest level in more than 40 years
  • Identified more than 300 projects generating nearly $400 million in cumulative budget savings
  • Expanded Medicaid to provide health care to 720,000 people, while saving more than $700 million annually
  • Reduced corrections population by near 2,600 individuals
  • Fully funded contributions for SERS and PSERS
  • Undertook agency consolidations

Education

After restoring the Republicans’ $1 billion cut to education, increasing pre-k and kindergarten enrollment, bolstering graduation rates, and increasing career and technical education programs, Governor Wolf is continuing to invest in our schools to drive our economy forward. This budget provides increased funding for:

  • Pre-K and Head Start
  • Basic Education
  • Career & Technical Education
  • Higher Education
  • Special Education
  • Ready to Learn Block Grant
  • Early Intervention

School Safety

Governor Wolf knows that our children deserve to go to schools that are safe, and parents should have confidence that their kids will be protected when they go to class each morning. That’s why he created a School Safety Task Force to ensure we are doing everything we can to make sure that our schools are safe places for our children to learn. This budget builds on the governor’s commitment to making our schools safer by increasing funding for:

  • School Safety Measures
  • Community Safety Measures
  • Safe Schools Initiative
  • It’s on US PA

Workforce Development

Governor Wolf knows that not every student will go to college, but every Pennsylvanian deserves the opportunity to succeed. That’s why he has made significant investments in workforce development to ensure that more Pennsylvanians have access to high-wage, family sustaining jobs. This budget provides additional funding for Governor Wolf’s PAsmart Initiative, which includes:

  • Computer Science and STEM education programs
  • Apprenticeship Programs
  • Industry Partnerships

 

This budget has been heralded as a bipartisan, responsible step forward for Pennsylvania. Check out some of the coverage from around the commonwealth:

AP: Early budget deal maybe a milestone for deficits, school aid

Altoona Mirror: State’s fiscal picture shows ray of sunshine

Butler Eagle: Legislators happy with new budget

CNHI: Senators cheer spending plan as bipartisan compromise

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. approves $60 million for school safety