HARRISBURG – The state Senate today concurred in House amendments to a bipartisan $27.656 billion General Fund budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, by a 32-17 vote, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming/Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Union).
Senate Bill 1466, the General Appropriations Act of 2012, approved by the Senate in May and sent to the House, is an increase of $395 million over the current year’s spending. The proposal remains below the threshold that the Commonwealth could spend under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) formula, which is tied to inflation and population growth. Under the TABOR formula, Pennsylvania’s spending for FY 2012-13 could be $27.740 billion.
“For the second year in a row, we passed a budget that invests in education at all levels — from early childhood education initiatives through Pennsylvania’s universities — and provides support for essential social and health services,” Yaw said. “This budget is smart, fiscally responsible and one that is based on economic reality.”
SB 1466 maintains state support for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and State System of Higher Education schools. With the full restoration of funding, the presidents of Penn State, Pitt and Temple, as well as the Chancellor of the State System of Higher Education have agreed to keep any tuition increases to a minimum, no higher than the rate of inflation.
The budget also restores $84 million in funding for various county-administered social services programs, reducing by half the Governor’s proposed 20 percent reduction in state funding.
“Most importantly, there is no tax increase once again,” Yaw said.
“I’ve also heard from many people in my district supportive of programs such as the Key 93 Fund, the Center for Dairy Excellence and Small Business Development Centers,” Yaw added. “I am pleased to report that these programs were fully restored in this budget.”
Contact: Rita Zielonis