Governor’s Budget Proposal 2024-25: Business Highlights

All dollar amounts refer to new line items or increases to the line item from the previous budget. The full amounts of proposed appropriations can be seen in the 2024-25 General Fund Tracking Run.

Economic Development

  • $600 million in new/expanded investments
    • $500 million for PA SITES
    • $25 million for Main Street Matters program
    • $20 million for large-scale innovation, leveraging Pennsylvania’s research and development assets
    • $3.5 million for PA Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge
    • $18 million increase for tourism and business marketing
    • $10 million increase to increase permitting staff at the Department of Environmental Protection
    • $10.3 million in new funding to support agricultural innovation

Health and Housing

  • Increase Housing Trust Fund cap to $100 million
  • $50 million increase to Pennie to ensure Pennsylvanians who don’t get federal assistance but can’t afford private insurance
  • $4 million for medical debt relief for low-income Pennsylvanians
  • $215 million (leveraging another $266 million in federal resources) to increase wages for home and community-based care providers
  • $36 million to expand access to home and community-based care services
  • $20 million increase for community mental health services
  • $10 million increase in public defense funding

Childcare and K-12 Education

  • Nearly $1.1 billion increase for basic education
    • Nearly $900 million for first-year adequacy/equity investment
    • Remaining $200 million for basic education funding formula
  • $50 million increase for special education
  • $50 million for school safety and security improvements
  • $300 million in sustainable funding for school environmental repair projects
  • $10 million for Educator Talent Recruitment Account
  • $450,000 to support Talent Recruitment Office at the Department of Education
  • $5 million increase for student teacher stipends
  • $96,000 in state funds (leveraging another $62 million in federal resources) to increase reimbursement rates for Child Care Works providers
  • $100 million increase for K-12 school mental health services

Higher Education

  • $975 million for the proposed new governance system combining PASSHE and Pennsylvania’s community colleges
  • Increase in financial aid for students of these schools so no family middle-income or lower pays more than $1,000 per semester
  • 5% increase for Pitt, Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln Universities, and a 15% increase for the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
  • Increase PHEAA grants by $1,000
  • $279 million annual investment to limit Pennsylvanian student debt

Workforce Development

  • $400 million for Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program
    • Organizations completing infrastructure projects can receive up to $40,000 for each new worker they train
  • $2 million for Career Connect
  • $2.4 million increase for CTE/vo-tech
  • Continued $7 million investment to support dual enrollment
  • $2.2 million increase for Industry Partnership grants
  • $2 million in new investments to build an one-stop-shop for career pathways
    • Single digital location for all career, education, and training resources for students and adults
  • $2 million to help businesses transition to skills-based hiring
    • Skills and experience matter more than having the “right degree”
  • $1.2 million to help businesses reach labor law compliance

Transit and Infrastructure

  • $282 million increase for public transit systems
    • Represents the beginning of a $1.5 billion increase over five years
  • $125 million for road and bridge projects through the continued transition of State Police funding away from the Motor License Fund

Our Position

Overall, the budget proposal spends align well with the Chamber’s Policy and Legislative Agenda. We will monitor the coming months Appropriations Hearings as details are needed on several proposals.  We do note and appreciate that it is a no tax-increase budget. The proposed investments in economic development, workforce development, and childcare services are direct priorities of the Chamber and we are excited to see them prioritized by the governor, as well.

The governor called on the General Assembly to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He did not specify what kind of shift he would support: gradual or immediate. The Chamber is opposed to an immediate jump to $15 and we will keep a close watch on budget negotiations to see what, if any, kind of increase is ultimately included in budget legislation. In the past, the Chamber has supported a minimum wage increase at a lower amount with gradual increases.

This proposal is a starting point from which to begin debate and will likely change significantly, but the prioritization of critically important areas is an encouraging sign. We are eager to work with the administration and the General Assembly to develop a budget that supports Pennsylvania’s businesses and works to establish the Commonwealth as a destination for businesses and families.

More information on Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal for the Fiscal Year 2024-25 can be found here.

The Governor’s full budget in brief can be found here.

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