2024-25 State Budget

Senate Approves Empowering, Pro-Family, Pro-Growth Budget

The Pennsylvania Senate approved a fiscally responsible 2024-25 state budget that is honest with taxpayers, creates new job opportunities for state residents, includes no new taxes and addresses the economic and demographic challenges the state faces in the years ahead.

“The governor and House Democrats started this budget process calling for unicorns and rainbows in the form of new spending on radically progressive programs and increased school funding in a few select locations across the state. Instead, Senate Republicans prioritized funding for programs that are showing results so our residents get real benefits while serving as a backstop against tax increases that would have been forced by the Democrat agenda.”

“This budget is built on two fundamental principles: honesty and empowerment. It’s honest about the realities and the limitations of divided government. It’s honest about finding new ways to fund educational opportunities, helping those who provide health care and human services, and paying our commonwealth’s bills with no tricks, gimmicks or games. This is also a budget that empowers. It empowers parents to make decisions to benefit their children, job creators through permitting reforms and improving our state’s tax policies, law enforcement to maintain law and order, and taxpayers with $700 million more committed to our Rainy Day Fund.”

“I am thankful we reached a budget agreement that recognizes the need to address Pennsylvania’s economic and demographic challenges in the years ahead. In addition to making our state more competitive for job growth, the budget’s Grow PA plan will help young people train for high-demand careers while taking on less debt and providing a strong incentive for them to put down roots here in our commonwealth. I’m also extremely proud that we fought to empower students and families so children can learn in the environment that best suits their unique educational needs.”

Creating Jobs

The budget includes key measures to boost Pennsylvania’s economy. The plan continues to phase out the Corporate Net Income Tax, a critical barrier to business expansion in the commonwealth. It also begins the process of eliminating the Start-Up Penalty that makes it more difficult for businesses to relocate to Pennsylvania.

Lawmakers also addressed the persistent problem of permitting delays that have chased jobs and investment to other states. A new Streamlining Permits for Economic Expansion and Development (SPEED) Program will be created to establish permit review timelines by the Department of Environmental Protection and conservation districts. Additionally, a new permit tracking system will be implemented, and applicants will now have the option for third-party review of air, earth disturbance and water permit applications.

Expanding Education Opportunities

Significant resources are included to empower parents and families to make the best decisions possible on how to meet the unique educational needs of their children. The highly successful Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, which provides scholarships to help families attend schools that best meet student needs, will receive an additional $75 million, bringing total funding for the program to a record $630 million.

The plan also increases K-12 education funding by more than $1 billion, one of the largest funding increases in Pennsylvania’s history. New funding for the Basic Education subsidy ($285 million), Ready to Learn Block Grant program ($526 million) and school facility improvements ($100 million) will help meet Pennsylvania’s Constitutional mandate to provide a thorough and efficient system of education.

Senate Republicans fought to ensure these dollars are allocated fairly in a manner that benefits students throughout the commonwealth, not just those students who attend a small number of select schools.

Additional funding is also included for:

  • Special education ($100 million increase).
  • School safety and security and mental health ($50 million increase).
  • Career and technical education (CTE) ($25 million increase).
  • CTE equipment grants ($5 million increase).

School districts will also see reduced cyber charter school special education costs of approximately $34.5 million by transitioning to a state-funded reimbursement system that preserves educational options for families.

To help attract and retain more students to Pennsylvania schools and connect them with quality careers in their communities after graduation, the budget includes important components of the Grow PA post-secondary education and career preparation plan championed by Senate Republicans.

Under the plan, Grow PA scholarships of $5,000 would be available to students enrolled in high-demand education programs if they agree to live and work in these industries in Pennsylvania after graduation. In addition, $36 million in new funding for the Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program will allow more students to qualify for assistance.

An additional $25 million is also included for career and technical education programs to ensure more young people are prepared for the challenges of today’s workforce.

Supporting Healthy & Safe Communities

Additional funding is also included to empower law enforcement and ensure healthier communities.

New funding is included for county mental health ($20 million) and rate increases for nursing facilities ($134 million), intellectual disability/autism services ($278 million) and LIFE providers ($16.7 million). Funding is also included to ensure nursing facilities receive reimbursement for care from day one ($11 million increase) and for a new initiative to provide intellectual disability/autism services to an additional 1,500 Pennsylvanians ($76 million).

The budget also continues Senate Republicans’ record of leadership on improving water quality by including $50 million for the Clean Streams Fund. The program, created in 2022, has supported the agriculture community in making significant improvements to water quality in communities throughout the state.

Funding is also included to continue to deal with the threat of avian influenza, including a new Agricultural Innovation and Development program funded at $10 million.

The Attorney General’s Office will also receive nearly $5 million in new funding to improve the safety of our communities through new law enforcement initiatives targeting human trafficking ($1 million), organized retail theft ($2.7 million) and appointing a special prosecutor for crimes on SEPTA properties ($1.2 million).

Improving Roads & Bridges

Significant new resources will also be available for transportation infrastructure. The budget continues the process to phase out the State Police from the Motor License Fund and includes an additional $80.5 million in one-time dollars, making more resources available to help repair our roads and bridges.

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