July 6, 2023 (Harrisburg, Pa) This week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the framework and line items for the 2023-24 Pennsylvania budget via House Bill 611. The spending plan totals $45.5 billion and includes significant investments in critical areas such as environmental permitting, workforce development and retention, and education. Budget highlights for the business community include:
- Investing $23.5 million in workforce training and vo-tech programs, $6 million in apprenticeship and pre-apprentice programs, and $3.5 million in the School-to-Work Program through the Department of Labor & Industry.
- Increasing education spending by $1 billion, including a historic $567 million increase in basic education funding.
- Increasing economic development funding by $34 million, including a $20 million investment in the Historically Disadvantaged Business Program through the CDFI network.
- Allocating $6.4 million to modernize the Department of Environmental Protection permitting process and $2.91 million to fund the Office of Transformation and Opportunity.
- Investing $50 million in the Hospital and Healthsystem Emergency Relief Fund.
- Increasing funding for childcare services by $66.7 million through the Child Care Works Program, and increasing funding for county mental health services by $20 million.
- Sustainable funding for the Pennsylvania State Police, continuing the reduction of transfers from the Motor License Fund over the next four years, allowing monies collected for infrastructure to go toward its intended purpose.
“These targeted investments will go a long way toward improving Pennsylvania’s competitiveness while keeping our financial future secure. We are grateful to our legislative delegation and the Governor for coming together to advance these targeted investments,” said Ryan C. Unger, President & CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. “We are proud to have been an active advocate for many of these policies with our partners and stakeholders, and look forward to seeing additional pro-business and pro-growth policies take shape as the budget process continues.”
House Bill 611 now awaits Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis’ signature in the Senate before it is sent to the Governor’s desk. Code bills containing any potential business tax reform measures have not yet seen movement in the General Assembly.
The Chamber will continue to monitor the budget process and send further updates as legislation is advanced.
A full line-by-line breakdown of the 2023-24 Pennsylvania budget can be found here.