HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a supplemental budget plan that restores funding to critical areas of need, including basic and higher education, agriculture and health care programs in an effort to address the crisis atmosphere created by repeated vetoes by Gov. Tom Wolf in the current fiscal year, according to Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) and Sen. Gene Yaw (R- Bradford/Lycoming/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Union).
“The General Assembly has voted to keep schools and all services open for those who need and deserve them. This supplemental budget will get needed resources to our schools and students to prevent their facilities from closing, and give state funding to agriculture, health service agencies and corrections, among others,” said Everett. “This supplemental budget restores the 13 percent of the overall plan ripped out of the bill passed last December by the Wolf line-item vetoes.”
Yaw said there is one lone holdout in this budget process.
“It takes 129 people in this Capitol to do anything, that’s 26 senators, 102 house members and the governor,” said Yaw. On at least three occasions, we’ve had the agreement of 128 people. My guess is that we are going to have the agreement of 128 people again, and we’re looking at one person who has not seen fit to agree with the other 128. I am really offended that this governor is using kids in public schools, kids in college and kids in 4-H as leverage. Somewhere along the line 128 people can’t be wrong.”
The March supplemental budget restores $50.55 million in funding for the Penn State Agricultural Extension and research, ensuring that 1,100 employees are not furloughed in the extension and College of Agricultural Sciences.
In addition, the plan increases basic education by $150 million, restores more than $939 million in Department of Corrections funding and spends $30.031 billion.
Funding is also restored for critical access hospitals, hospital-based burn centers and for obstetric and neo-natal services, along with disease-specific treatment, research and education programs within the Department of Health.
The supplemental budget was passed by the Senate 31-18 and the House 128-63.
House Bill 1801 now goes to the governor for further action.