Episode 37: The (sometimes tumultuous) path to passing PA’s budget

The budget largely passed ahead of deadline but there were still some hiccups.

  • Katie Meyer

Pennsylvania officially has a budget for the new fiscal year, and it was—mostly—signed into law two days ahead of deadline.

As far as budgets go in Harrisburg, it was a breeze—after all just four years ago, an impasse over funding dragged on for nine months.

But still, there were some hiccups this year.

An argument over whether to repeal a cash assistance program for the poor led to a rare shouting match on the Senate floor—an incident that has now gone fairly viral online.

The program’s ultimate repeal was a blow to Democrats, who also lost out on priorities like a minimum wage increase, boost to teacher salaries, and a fee for state police coverage.

But Democratic Governor Tom Wolf notes, he and his colleagues did manage to compromise with Republicans on an increase in K-12 education funding, more money for preschools and special education, funding for libraries, a transfer to the Rainy Day fund, and support for domestic violence, child welfare, and intellectual disability programs.

We’ll explain what is and isn’t in the budget, and how the process played out to get to a final deal.

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