Senate Approves Budget/Comprehensive COVID-19 Funding Package

Facing an uncertain economic future and working to address the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Senate today (May 28) set a course for recovery by approving a $25.8 billion short-term budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 as well as a plan to direct $2.6 billion in federal CARES funding to support individuals, small businesses, organizations and county governments that were most severely impacted by the virus, according to Senator Scott Hutchinson, (R-21).

“We have no way of determining how quickly Pennsylvania’s economy will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The short-term budget we approved today will fund critical state services until the long-term impacts of the shutdown of the economy are fully known and more accurate fiscal projections can be made,” Senator Hutchinson said.

House Bill 2387 provides five months of funding for most state agencies and services for FY 2020-21. The appropriations in HB 2387 are based primarily on current funding for agencies and services in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget, but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding is provided for a few select line items in HB 2387, notably for education and food security programs.

Senate Bill 1108 appropriates a portion of Pennsylvania’s federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding for critical needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The allocations in Senate Bill 1108 will fund critical services and help mitigate the damage done by the shutdown of the economy during the health emergency declaration,” Senator Hutchinson said. “This builds on passage of the short-term state budget to provide essential relief and financial support where the need is the greatest.”

Funding in the package includes:

  • $692 million for long-term living services providers.
  • $625 million for counties that did not receive a direct subsidy from the federal government.
  • $260 million for providers of intellectual disability and autism services.
  • $225 million to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses recover.
  • $175 million to provide rent and mortgage assistance to low- and middle–income families impacted by the pandemic.
  • $150 million to help school districts meet the challenges created by COVID-19 through school safety and security funding.
  • $116 million for child-care services.
  • $72.2 million to support higher education students.
  • $50 million to support first responders.
  • $40 million for agricultural and food insecurity programs.
  • $28 million for community programs, including domestic violence programs ($10 million), homeless assistance ($10 million) and legal services ($8 million).
  • $20 million for Cultural and Museum organizations.
  • $9 million for early childhood education programs ($7 million for Pre-K Counts and $2 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance).

Contact:          Justin Leventry           jleventry@pasen.gov