Senate approves FY 2013-14 budget

The Senate today approved a state budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 that invests in education, public safety, economic development and job creation and provides support for essential social and health services and programs without a tax increase, according to Senator Scott E. Hutchinson

General Fund spending as proposed in House Bill 1437 is $28.375 billion, a modest $645 million (2.3 percent) increase over current year spending and $64 million less than the Governor’s budget request in February.

“The budget takes into account Pennsylvania’s economy and prudently invests taxpayers’ money in the basic core services and programs that provide the best benefits to our citizens,” Senator Hutchinson said. “State spending for basic education is at unprecedented levels and additional money is appropriated for public safety programs.”

House Bill 1437 reaffirms Senate Republicans’ commitment to providing Pennsylvania’s young people with a quality education from the youngest ages through their college years. Basic Education Funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools will increase to $5.53 billion in FY 2013-14. That total is $39.9 million above the Governor’s request and represents the second consecutive year of record high state funding levels for basic education.

The budget substantially increases state support for early childhood education programs as funding for the Pre-K Counts program will go up by $5 million ($87.2 million) and Head Start Assistance will receive an additional $2 million ($39.17 million).

Overall funding for the Attorney General’s Office will increase by more than $9 million, with a $3 million increase for the Child Predator Interceptor Unit ($4.35 million) and $2.5 million for a new Mobile Street Crimes Unit. The budget increases funding for the State Police by nearly $15 million and funds three new State Police training classes, which will enroll 290 new cadets. Advancing efforts to ensure Pennsylvania’s young people can learn in a safe environment, the budget provides an additional $6.5 million for Safe School Initiatives, bringing that total to $8.5 million.

Contact: Justin Leventry (717) 787-9684.