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HARRISBURG — As Gov. Josh Shapiro prepares to pitch the first state budget, he’s giving some hints as to what it will contain.
Democrats want more money community development program, Childcareand technology researchhe is planning tax cut For teachers, police officers and nurses.and he may sting Make school funding more equitable.
And, perhaps in his most grim desire, he wants to come up with a plan that can pass a divided Pennsylvania legislature.
Shapiro will unveil his full budget plan in Harrisburg on Tuesday. After that, the head of the State Department will begin attending hearings with lawmakers on budget priorities, while legislative leaders and the administration will finalize spending and revenue agreements ahead of a June 30 deadline.
“Governor Shapiro is focused on working with Democrats, Republicans and independents,” Manuel Bonder, a spokesperson for Shapiro, said of the governor’s approach to working with Congress. “On Tuesday, he will present a set of common-sense solutions to problems facing our community.”
Shapiro came into office at a time when his financial resources were relatively plentiful.
The federal government expects a surplus of nearly $7 billion this year, thanks to pandemic-era federal aid and a year of strong revenues. The state also holds her $5 billion in emergency funds. This is a far cry from the near-barren reserves of the Democrat Tom He Wolfe’s first few years in office.
Democrats, Republicans, and independent budget analysts generally agree with these numbers. However, there is not much consensus on how that money should be managed.
Democrats have pushed for a massive increase in education spending. Recent Federal Court Decisions As a result, Pennsylvania’s school funding scheme is unconstitutionally unfair.
Vincent Hughes (D., Philadelphia), Minority Chairman of the State Senate Appropriations Committee, points to Pennsylvania’s current financial situation as reason for optimism, and the ruling could be addressed sooner or later. said.
“Putting dollars into this sector always yields positive results,” he told Spotlight PA.
The debate, he predicted, will be centered on how to use education funding. This means reducing class sizes, raising teacher salaries, or possibly rebuilding dilapidated school buildings. full of lead and asbestos.
“It starts with fundraising,” Hughes added.
As in years past, Republicans in state legislatures have questioned spending increases, suggesting that part of the federal surplus now comes from pandemic-era federal payments, a pattern that will repeat itself in the coming years. It points out that no
Statewide revenues are outpacing initial projections for this fiscal year, but Republican leaders are starting negotiations with a possible recession in mind.
“I think most people would say there’s anxiety right now and uncertainty about where this economy is headed,” said State Senator Scott Martin (R., Lancaster), who is participating in the first session as Senate Speaker. ) said. Appropriations Committee.
Martin believes Shapiro is well aware of these concerns given the obstacles his predecessor faced.
Wolfe entered his first year in office with a budget proposing tax increases, but was unanimously overruled by the Republican-controlled Congress. Mr. Martin’s impression is that Mr. Shapiro has “talked to various leaders and made preparations.”
The legislature changed from the Wolff regime. Democrats barely control the state House of Representatives and are no longer in the ultra-minority of the state Senate.
“There have been a lot of hard lines drawn over the last eight years,” Martin said. “It’s kind of a new day.”
In addition to a potential court order to review the way the federation funds education, the Shapiro administration will Rollback to Two Big Federal Benefits in Pandemic Era: Increased nutrition program subsidies and continued enrollment in Medicaid.
These cuts will result in more than two million Pennsylvanians spending less on food than in recent years, and hundreds of thousands without health insurance.
Aside from the looming logistical puzzles, Shapiro focuses much of his message on strengthening the economy.
he recently said His proposed research on modernizing manufacturing and increased funding for computer science and STEM education is intended to “spur job creation here in Pennsylvania.”
Shapiro as well Threw Dedicate more state funds to programs that fund public-private partnerships between towns and real estate developers, nonprofits, and other businesses to improve inner-city housing and infrastructure.
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2023/03/pa-budget-josh-shapiro-tax-break-child-care/ What to Expect from Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s First Budget Spotlight PA