The Senate today (November 20) gave final approval to a supplemental spending bill — completing the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 — and sent the measure to the Governor’s desk, according to Senator Elder Vogel.
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.
Overcoming the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s economy, the final $35.5 billion FY 2020-21 budget is balanced without the need for tax or fee increases or debt using a combination of current state revenues and resources and federal stimulus funding.
“We were fortunate that Pennsylvania’s financial outlook has improved somewhat over the past few months. We still have a long way to go, but at least we have charted a course that maintains vital state services and programs and support for schools without raising taxes,” Senator Vogel said.
While the interim spending plan approved in May provided five months of funding for most state services and programs, it made a full-year financial commitment for education at all levels and for a variety of food security programs. Funding for basic education, special education, early education and higher education is maintained in the final spending plan at the same level as Fiscal Year 2019-20.
“I am also pleased that we were able to maintain state support for all vital agricultural programs and services at the same level as last year,” said Senator Vogel, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. “This includes our research programs, livestock and dairy shows, food marketing programs and others that benefit our farming community.”
Spending in the final Fiscal Year 2020-21 state budget includes General Fund appropriations of $32.1 billion and an additional $3.4 billion in federal stimulus funds ($2.1 billion Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) and $1.3 billion federal CARES funds).
After adjusting for supplemental spending that should have been in FY 2019-20, overall state spending in the final FY 2020-21 budget — including federal stimulus funds — is down more than $760 million (2.1 percent) from FY 2019-20.
The final budget includes $200 million to provide school property tax relief to replace the revenues those districts lost by the closure of Pennsylvania’s casinos during the pandemic shutdown.
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