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Gene Yaw

11/20/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2020 19:12

Senator Yaw’s Statement on Finalized 2020-21 State Budget Plan

State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) issued the following statement today following concurrence by the Senate on House amendments to Senate Bill 1350, which completes the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The measure now moves to Governor Tom Wolf's desk for his consideration.

'Passage of Senate Bill 1350 (31-18) 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, 2020,' Sen. Yaw said.

'I readily acknowledge that this budget leaves much to be desired. However, when we consider the circumstances which we face now and, apparently will be facing for some time, this budget presents a reasonable spending plan.

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. Spending 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.

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. Additionally, 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.

While passage of Senate Bill 1350 completes the FY 2020-21 budget, our primary focus must continue to be on rebuilding Pennsylvania in the wake of the coronavirus and the resulting statewide closure of our economy.

We must do everything in our power as a Commonwealth to get the state back to work. The unprecedented number of workers idled by the pandemic shows how deeply this coronavirus impacted Pennsylvania families.'

CONTACT: Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff 717-787-3280