Senate passage today of a supplemental spending bill will ensure that Pennsylvania continues to provide vital services to state residents, particularly the most vulnerable, without raising taxes, according to Senate Republican Leaders. Passage of Senate Bill 1350 finalizes the state spending plan for the current fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) that was initiated with the enactment of a five-month interim budget (Act 1A – House Bill 2387) on May 29.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16) offered the following statements on the balanced budget, which includes no tax or fee increases and no public borrowing.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25): “I am pleased that Senate Republicans stood strong and fought for passage of a responsible budget that addresses the needs of our Commonwealth, while also respecting taxpayers. The final budget represents a 9.8 percent decrease across operating appropriations from Governor Wolf’s initial budget request from February 2020. This year has been unlike any other and the challenges that our communities and families are facing have been unprecedented. It is clear that fiscal restraint is needed as we work together to address the effects of COVID-19 and to move Pennsylvania forward.”
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34): “Despite all of the challenges we faced this year, we have passed a balanced budget that stands up for taxpayers and will help us move our economy forward. We must do everything in our power as a Commonwealth to get the state back to work. Just as Pennsylvanians have worked to live within their budgets, we too focused on finalizing a budget that would continue to serve our residents without asking them for more of their hard-earned dollars.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16): “The action taken in May allowed us time to gain a clearer financial determination of the Commonwealth’s finances in order to more accurately project revenue estimates before developing our final spending plan for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020-21. We now have a financial outlook that improved dramatically during those five months with both the Independent Fiscal Office’s and Department of Revenue’s fall revenue estimate projections improving by nearly $2 billion. Those improvements along with the use of CARES Act funds for public health and safety costs and increased enhanced FMAP allocations for Medicaid expenses have allowed us to close on a balanced Fiscal Year 2020-21 state budget without raising taxes and without borrowing and issuing new debt, which would have placed further stress on future state budgets.”