Harrisburg, Pa. – June 25, 2021 – Pennsylvania State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa today voted in support of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22.
The final budget package included bipartisan and bicameral compromises, but Senator Costa highlighted several important investments it made this year.
“This isn’t the budget I would have designed and in many ways, I feel that it does not take full advantage of the unprecedented resources we have from a budget surplus and the federal American Rescue Plan – but this is a process of compromise, and there is a lot here that I support,” said Senator Costa. “We are seeing major levels of new and equitable funding in education, and that’s been something my caucus and I have fought for over many years. Further, we are still in recovery from a pandemic that ravaged our state for more than a year and it was important to me that we fund critical state programs with an on-time budget.”
Increased education line items this year include:
- $300 million in basic education
- $200 million to be funded through the Fair Funding Formula
- $100 million for Level Up, a new program to provide funding for schools that have been historically inadequately funded
- $20 million for Ready to Learn block grants
- $25 million for Pre K Counts
- $5 million for Headstart
- $50 million for special education
- $11 million for early intervention
- $200 million for PASSHE, over 4 years, including funding for the Diversity, Education & Inclusion program proposed by the PA Senate Democrats
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania was allocated $7 billion in funds from the American Rescue Plan and until this budget they remained unspent, despite a bold proposal from the Senate Democratic Caucus, a New Deal for PA. Of those dollars, $4 billion will go to balancing this year’s budget and more than $2 billion remains for future spending.
“The American Rescue Plan was designed to help people get back on their feet, not just balance spreadsheets,” said Senator Costa. “It is my hope, and a major goal of this caucus, to spend the remaining funds directly on the programs and initiatives that will help folks recover from the personal, public health, and economic devastation of 2020.”
The final budget also moves $2 billion in revenue surplus into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
For more information on the New Deal for PA, please visit pasenate.com/newdeal