Key Points from Senate Budget Hearings Tuesday, March 15

HARRISBURG – The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday kicked off its final week of hearings on the proposed 2022-23 state budget with the Department of Labor and Industry and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

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.

Department of Labor and Industry

Senate Labor and Industry Committee Chair Camera Bartolotta (R-46) sought details from Secretary Jennifer Berrier on how a $6.8 million federal grant the department received will benefit Pennsylvanians.

Committee members questioned the department’s efforts to curb unemployment compensation fraud and resolve problems preventing UC claimants from receiving payments they are owed.

UC system solvency, protecting personal data and attracting Pennsylvanians back to the workforce were also discussed.

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) 

Senate Education Committee Chair Scott Martin (R-13) questioned State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein about the ongoing university merger of state universities, where pandemic stimulus dollars were spent and how it plans to allocate funding in the coming academic year.

Other members focused on how PASSHE is adapting to demands in health care workforce needs from the private sector, how it will use $75 million in one-time COVID-19 stimulus funds and how it encourages students to pursue careers in high demand.

You can find livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at PASenateGOP.com.

CONTACT: Matt Moyer mmoyer@pasen.gov