Harrisburg, Pa. − May 28, 2020 – Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today voted in support of House Bill 2387, a General Appropriations bill that funds state operations through November, and fully funding education through the entire fiscal year. The bill passed with broad, bipartisan support (44-6).
“We’ve never done a 5-month budget here before, but we’ve also never seen a public health crisis quite like COVID-19,” said Senator Costa. “It was important to me that we fully fund education at every level so that our schools can plan for the coming school year. We are waiting on additional resources from the federal government, and we still do not know the full fiscal impact of COVID-19 and it would have been irresponsible to attempt a full year budget at this time. I’m proud of the bipartisan work we did on this package that will provide stability to critical state services and programs as we continue to navigate a crisis.”
Pennsylvania was granted nearly $4 billion in CARES funding from the federal government, and today passed the necessary legislation to spend it. The priorities reflected in that legislation nearly mirror a proposal from the Senate Democrats in an April presentation.
Senator Costa voted in support of the bill to allocate those funds, Senate Bill 1108, which passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House and now makes its way to the Governor’s desk.
The money must be spent before December 31st of this year, and has to be used for COVID-related purposes. The funds have been allocated to:
- $722 million for health and human services
- $175 million for housing assistance
- $29 million for safety net programs
- $125 million for child care and early education
- $150 million for school safety
- $625 million for county and municipal relief
- $50 million for worker hazard pay
- $100 million for EMS
- $72 million for higher education
- $245 million for small businesses
- $50 million for agriculture
- $259 for community ID waiver
“The Senate Democrats were the only caucus to present a plan on how to spend the relief money we received from the federal government, and I’m pleased to see our priorities reflected in this final, bipartisan plan,” said Senator Costa. “Our communities need these resources to begin the long road to recovery, particularly our working families and small businesses.”
If approved by the Pennsylvania House, these bills will go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.