Senator Hutchinson Responds to Governor’s Budget Proposal

Senator Scott Hutchinson issued the following statement following today’s joint session of the General Assembly to receive the Governor’s 2020-21 budget proposal.

“Although we’ve been able to constrain state spending the last several years, and revenue growth has also been healthy, the Governor announced today that he is on track to spend $800 million more than we approved last June,” said Senator Hutchinson.  “I am concerned about this continual cycle of supplemental spending.  And, I am very wary of his request for an additional $5 billion plus in more borrowing.  We have a lot of work to do as we work through the upcoming months of the budget scrutiny.” Audio

The Governor’s budget proposal includes a $1.5 billion (4.2 percent) increase in state spending from the current fiscal year. The Governor is not requesting a broad-based tax increase this year, but is continuing to push for a Marcellus Shale extraction tax, a $1 per-ton increase in the tipping fee charged to trash companies, and a fee for all municipalities for State Police services.

The Governor is requesting a $100 million increase in Basic Education Funding to $6.4 billion, a $30 million increase for early childhood education (Pre-K Counts to $242.3 million and Head Start to $69.2 million), and a $25 million increase in special education funding to $1.2 billion.

The State System of Higher Education would see a $13 million increase to $490 million, while state funding for community colleges and state-related universities is flat-funded in the Governor’s request.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a three-week series of departmental budget hearings beginning on February 18.  The hearings provide an opportunity for the Appropriations Committee to hear cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials detail their plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30.

 

Contact:          Justin Leventry           (717) 787-9684           jleventry@pasen.gov