Harrisburg — Pennsylvania’s plans for a share of coronavirus relief and potential boosts in education funding are one of the issues being negotiated by lawmakers and governors on Thursday in the final week of the budget year.
Leaders said the 2021-22 budget could end this weekend, but details were scarce as high-level negotiations continued within the Capitol.
Kerry Benninghoff, leader of the House of Representatives, R-Center spoke optimistically about the end of the game.
“I don’t think there’s anything difficult left. It’s all part of the process and there are a lot of complexities,” says Benninghoff.
Lehigh County veteran Democrat Peter Schweyer said it’s always a good bet that budget negotiations take longer than expected.
“At this time of the year, the Harrisburg Rumor Factory is the Harrisburg Rumor Factory,” Schveyer said. “It can be anything from a happy Kumbaya budget that will fund education to something that’s all catastrophically bad. And depending on who you’re talking to, I’ll do both. I’ve heard of it. “
In February, Wolfe called on the Republican-controlled state legislature to raise state spending for the 2021-22 fiscal year starting July 1 to $ 37.8 billion. Approval of about $ 6 billion in new spending, or about 18 percent more than this year’s $ 33.1 billion approved budget. Stronger tax collections have turned billions of dollars in deficits last year into billions of dollars in surplus. Budget analysts are currently forecasting a surplus of just over $ 3 billion, or a total surplus of just over $ 40 billion, for the 2020-21 fiscal year ending June 30.
“Pennsylvania House Democrats are fighting very hard to be able to equitably fund schools with a $ 3 billion surplus,” said Joanna, House Minority Leader in D-Philadelphia. McClinton said he also demanded dangerous payments from front-line workers.
This year’s $ 33.1 billion approved budget was balanced with over $ 3.3 billion in federal pandemic aid and over $ 500 million in remittances from out-of-budget state accounts. Counting federal pandemic aid, spending was nearly $ 36.5 billion. In other words, the use of federal pandemic aid reduced state tax reliance from $ 36.5 billion to $ 33.1 billion.
The budget for fiscal year 2021-22 also relies on federal funding to reduce its reliance on state taxes. It’s just how much the problem is. Many Republicans want to save most of it for the next few years.
Wolff’s proposal increases more than 20% of public schools that could approach the $ 2 billion addition, although there are signs that the Republican approach could be close to $ 300 million.
The majority of Wolf’s demands, $ 1.35 billion, will be distributed to schools to pay the $ 6.8 billion currently received and key operating costs such as teacher salaries, operating costs and supplies.
Most of that total of $ 8.1 billion comes through a six-year-old school funding scheme designed to eliminate inequality in how Pennsylvania finances the poorest public schools. Some of that (about $ 1.1 billion) guarantees that you will receive fewer school districts than you currently have.
Pennsylvania rarely uses its funding scheme, and Wolff’s proposal is approaching trial in a 2014 proceeding filed by a few school districts accusing it of inadequate funding for public education. I will.
The final day of budget negotiations always involves transactions on other issues. On Thursday, lawmakers were actively working on an arrangement to re-approve mixed beverages to go to restaurants.
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