Key Points from Senate Budget Hearings Thursday, March 17

HARRISBURG – The Senate Appropriations Committee held its final hearings on the proposed 2022-23 state budget Thursday with the Budget Secretary, Department of General Services and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $45.7 billion budget that would increase spending by $4.5 billion. Based on projections, this will create a $1.3 billion deficit in the following fiscal year and produce a $13 billion deficit by FY 2026-27.

Budget Secretary and Department of General Services

Budget Secretary Gregory Thall testified that Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal won’t create budget deficits that would prompt a future governor to call for a tax increase. In prior hearings, the Independent Fiscal Office warned that revenue projections Gov. Wolf used to balance the budget could be revised downward due to national and international events, and state Treasurer Stacy Garrity saw the potential for sizable deficits in future years that would require action.

General Services Secretary Curt Topper was questioned about what can be done about the excess inventory of state buildings, particularly that of the State System of Higher Education, and the impact of teleworking on state offices.

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Senate State Government Committee Chair Dave Argall (R-29) asked Executive Director Andrea Bakewell Lowery about the new State Archives Building, the impact of the pandemic on the State Museum and the practice of rewriting historical markers.

Other topics discussed were marketing efforts on behalf of state historical sites, revenue from the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, balancing historic preservation with needed development and the need to maximize the assets held by the commission.

You can find video of every Senate budget hearing and daily recaps at PASenateGOP.com.

CONTACT: Matt Moyer mmoyer@pasen.gov