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Harrisburg – June 22, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Senate passed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 (House Bill 2121) by a vote of 47-2.

“In January, the Senate Democratic caucus outlined our priorities for the year and this budget puts the money where our mouths were,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. “It makes major investments in education at every level, workforce development, health care and social justice. It’s the product of months of bipartisan work and compromise, and I’m proud to support a budget that so aptly reflects our values.”

Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes noted that the budget restores the billion-dollar cuts to education funding under the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett. He added that he is hopeful investments in the people of the commonwealth continue to be of the highest priority.

“The increased investments to education, job and economic initiatives, social justice, and health care in this year’s budget are a testament to what happens when we work together and put the people first,” Senator Hughes said. “On a personal note, I am pleased this budget negotiation ended in a timely fashion and believe this is the foundation for future bipartisan budget negotiations.”

The Senate Democratic Caucus priorities in this budget focus on four categories: education, jobs and workforce development, social justice and health care. The budget incorporates major investments in those state programs, including:

  • In education:
    • $100 million increase in basic education (K-12 public schools)
    • $20 million increase in Pre-K Counts program
    • $30 million increase in career and technical education as part of the PA SMART Initiative
    • $15 million increase in special education
    • $21.6 million increase in Early Intervention
    • Nearly $7 million increase to community colleges
    • $15 million to the state-owned universities of the PASSHE schools
  • In job and workforce development:
    • A new $7 million apprenticeship training program through PA SMART
    • $3 million increase to industry partnerships through PA SMART
    • $3 million increase to combatting the Spotted Lanternfly infestation that threatens our agricultural industry
  • In social justice:
    • $1.3 million to the Human Relations Commission to provide the resources necessary to investigate claims like those of the Grandview 5.
    • $1 million for It’s On Us grants to address campus sexual assault
  • In health care
    • Includes funding to address the Governor’s waiting list initiatives.
      • 100 persons on the emergency waiting list for intellectual disabilities (ID) and 800 high school graduates aging into the ID waiver program.
      • 40 adults off of the Autism Intervention and Services waiting list.
    • Provides funding to expand home visitation programs for parents and young children.
    • $2.5 million to fight Lyme disease

The General Appropriations bill passed in the Pennsylvania House on Wednesday, and now goes to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk to await his signature.