Gov. Tom Wolf signed a $45.2 billion state budget July 8. Public schools receive a historic $525 million increase in basic education; $100 million more for special education funding and $225 million more for the 100 most underfunded school districts. Schools also receive $95 million for school safety and security grants to address physical safety and security at schools in response to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and $95 million in grants for student mental health services.
Governor Wolf Cements Legacy with Historic $3.7 Billion in Education Funding
Funding breakdown by public school district
Here is a look at the significant budget-related bills:
General Appropriations/ Budget Bill
• Senate Bill 1100 (Spreadsheet): This is the spending plan that provides funding for state agencies and services for FY 2022-23.
Budget Information from House Republicans:
General Fund Appropriations
COVID-19 Restricted Account
Basic Education Funding
School Safety & Mental Health Grants
Fiscal Code Bill: An important companion to the state budget that directs how budget dollars are spent, provides for the transfer of funds, and addresses issues pending in the Legislature.
• House Bill 1421 (Summary): This bill amends the Fiscal Code, in emergency COVID-19 response, further providing for definitions, repealing provisions relating to money in account, providing for Executive Offices, for Whole-Home Repairs Program and for arts and culture recovery grants, further providing for emergency education relief to nonpublic schools and for funding for library services and providing for biotechnology research, for use of money, for Child Care Stabilization Program, for Behavioral Health Commission or Adult Mental Health, for Department of Revenue, for State university assistance for fiscal year 2022-2023, for Development Cost Relief Program, for Housing Options Grant Program and for Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; in Rental and Utility Assistance Grant Program, further providing for reallocation of grants; in American Rescue Plan Rental and Utility Assistance Grant Program, further providing for department; in Treasury Department, providing for Commonwealth payment security; in oil and gas wells, further providing for Oil and Gas Lease Fund; in transportation network companies, motor carrier companies and parking authority of a city of the first class, further providing for transportation network company extension; providing for Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program and for Clean Water Procurement Program; in special funds, further providing for funding, for transfer, for H2O PA Account and for other grants; in additional special funds and restricted accounts, further providing for establishment of special fund and account, for use of fund, for distributions from Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, for Workers' Compensation Security Fund transfer to COVID-19 Response Restricted Account and for Opioid Settlement Restricted Account; providing for additional special funds and restricted accounts; in 2021-2022 budget implementation, further providing for executive offices and for Department of Human Services; in general budget implementation, further providing for Executive Offices, for Department of Corrections, for Department of Education, for Department of Health, for Department of Labor and Industry, for Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, for Department of Human Services, for Department of Revenue, for Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, for Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, for Pennsylvania Public Television Network Commission, for Pennsylvania Securities Commission and for State Tax Equalization Board, providing for State-related universities and further providing for surcharges and for Multimodal Transportation Fund; providing for 2022-2023 budget implementation and for 2022-2023 restrictions on appropriations for funds and accounts; and making related repeals.
Tax Code Bill: This bill contains the omnibus tax code provisions for the implementation of the state budget.
• House Bill 1342 (Summary): This legislation amends the Tax Reform Code, in sales and use tax, further providing for definitions, for exclusions from tax and for licenses; in personal income tax, further providing for classes of income and repealing provisions relating to COVID-19 emergency finance and tax provision; in corporate net income tax, further providing for definitions and for imposition of tax; in insurance premiums tax, further providing for imposition of tax and for credits for assessments paid; in vehicle rental tax, further providing for definitions and for vehicle rental tax; in research and development tax credit, further providing for limitation on credits; in entertainment production tax credit, further providing for definitions, for credit for qualified film production expenses, for limitations, for reissuance of film production tax credits and for limitations; in Waterfront Development Tax Credit, further providing for limitations; in City Revitalization and Improvement Zones, further providing for reports, for restrictions and for confidentiality; in Innovate in PA tax credit, further providing for duties; in Neighborhood Improvement Zones, further providing for confidentiality; in Keystone Opportunity Zones, Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zones and Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zones, further providing for extension for new job creation or new capital investment and for additional keystone opportunity expansion zones; providing for airport land development zones and for Pennsylvania child and dependent care enhancement program and for tax credit; in inheritance tax, further providing for transfers not subject to tax; in Public Transportation Assistance Fund, further providing for Public Transportation Assistance Fund; in table game taxes, providing for General Fund deposit; in Computer Data Center Equipment Incentive Program, further providing for definitions, for sales and use tax exemption, for eligibility requirements and for revocation of certification; in general provisions, providing for allocation of tax credits; making transfers; and making related repeals.
Public School Code Bill: This legislation contains the omnibus School Code amendments.
• House Bill 1642 (Summary): This legislation amends the Public School Code, further providing for Keystone Exams and graduation requirements, for special provisions applicable to the Keystone Exams, graduation requirements and alternative competency assessment and for Special Education Funding Commission and providing for Commission on Education and Economic Competitiveness; in grounds and buildings, further providing for limitation on new applications for Department of Education approval of public school building projects; in professional employees, providing for locally titled positions; in certification of teachers, providing for out-of-State applicants for career and technical education certification, further providing for program of continuing professional education and for continuing professional education for school or system leaders, providing for teacher support in the Structured Literacy Program, repealing provisions relating to certificates issued by other states and providing for out-of-State applicants for certification and for prekindergarten through grade twelve dance certificate; in pupils and attendance, further providing for definitions, for Home Education Program, for assisting students experiencing education instability, for Nonprofit School Food Program, for exceptional children and education and training and for extended special education enrollment due to COVID-19; in school safety and security, further providing for School Safety and Security Committee, providing for survey of school mental health services, further providing for School Safety and Security Grant Program, for school safety and security coordinator and for school safety and security training and providing for school safety and security grants for 2022-2023 school year, for school mental health grants for 2022-2023 school year, for school safety and security coordinator training, for school safety and security training in educator, administrator and supervisory preparatory programs and for School-based Mental Health Internship Grant Program; in threat assessment, further providing for threat assessment teams; in school health services, further providing for health services; in Drug and Alcohol Recovery High School Pilot Program, further providing for definitions, for establishment of Drug and Alcohol Recovery High School Pilot Program and for scope of program and selection of students, repealing provisions relating to term of Drug and Alcohol Recovery High School Pilot Program and further providing for reporting; in terms and courses of study, further providing for agreements with institutions of higher education; providing for talent recruitment and establishing the Committee on Education Talent Recruitment, the Talent Recruitment Grant Program and the Talent Recruitment Account; providing for educational and professional development online course initiative, establishing the Online Course Clearinghouse Account and imposing penalties; in charter schools, providing for abolition of rulemaking and further providing for regulations; providing for disability inclusive curriculum and establishing the Disability Inclusive Curriculum Pilot Program; in career and technical education, providing for Cosmetology Training through Career and Technical Center Pilot Program and for Barber Training through Career and Technical Center Pilot Program; in community colleges, further providing for financial program and reimbursement of payments; in rural regional college for underserved counties, further providing for reports; in the State System of Higher Education, further providing for definitions, for establishment of the State System of Higher Education and its institutions, for board of governors and for council of trustees and providing for integrated councils; in educational tax credits, further providing for definitions, for qualification and application by organizations, for application by business firms, for tax credits, for limitations and for opportunity scholarships; in transfers of credits between institutions of higher education, further providing for definitions and for duties of public institutions of higher education; in sexual violence education at institutions of higher education, further providing for scope of article, for definitions and for education program, providing for consent to sexual activity, further providing for follow-up and for report and providing for memorandum of understanding; in miscellaneous provisions relating to institutions of higher education, further providing for Public Higher Education Funding Commission and providing for State-related university performance-based funding model and for prohibition on scholarship displacement at public institutions of higher education; in ready-to-succeed scholarship, further providing for agency; in funding for public libraries, providing for State aid for fiscal year 2022-2023; in reimbursements by Commonwealth and between school districts, further providing for payments on account of pupils enrolled in career and technical curriculums and for student-weighted basic education funding, providing for level-up supplement for 2021-2022 school year and further providing for payments to intermediate units, for special education payments to school districts, for assistance to school districts declared to be in financial recovery status or identified for financial watch status, for approved reimbursable rental for leases hereafter approved and approved reimbursable sinking fund charges on indebtedness and for Ready-to-Learn Block Grant; in construction and renovation of buildings by school entities, further providing for applicability; and making editorial changes.
Human Services Code Bill: This legislation the omnibus Human Services Code amendments.
• House Bill 1420 (Summary): This bill amends the Human Services Code providing for COVID-19 mental health public awareness campaign; in public assistance, further providing for eligibility and for medical assistance payments for institutional care and providing for resident care and related costs and for pharmacy benefits manager audit and obligations; in the aged, further providing for LIFE program and providing for agency with choice; in children and youth, further providing for limits on reimbursements to counties; in nursing facility assessments, further providing for time periods; in managed care organization assessments, further providing for assessment amount; providing for innovative health care delivery models; abrogating regulations; and making a related repeal.
The Senate and House of Representatives voted on July 8 to approve a Joint Resolution which would add several additional and distinct amendments to the Constitution of Pennsylvania (Senate Bill 106). Including:
- Provides there is no right to abortion or taxpayer funding for an abortion.
- Allows a party's nominee for Governor to select the party nominee for Lieutenant Governor rather than have each candidate nominated separately in the party's primary and prohibits a person from seeking election to both offices simultaneously.
- Creates a limit of 21 days for any executive order or proclamation, which has the force of law, issued by the Governor or an executive agency.
- Provides that the General Assembly's disapproval of a regulation would not be required to be presented to the Governor.
- Requires the General Assembly to provide for the auditing of elections.
- Requires voters to present valid identification prior to voting.
The governor cannot veto a constitutional amendment. Instead, voters get to decide whether to approve the proposed change after it passes the state House and Senate in two consecutive sessions. This would be the first session.