Senate Approves Balanced, Fiscally Responsible Final Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget

HARRISBURG, PA– The Senate today (November 20) gave final approval to a supplemental spending bill – completing the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 – and sent the measure to the governor’s desk, according to Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh).

Passage of Senate Bill 1350 finalizes the state spending plan for the current fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) that was initiated with the enactment of a five-month interim budget (Act 1A – House Bill 2387) on May 29.

“The action taken in May allowed us time to gain a clearer financial determination of the Commonwealth’s finances in order to more accurately project revenue estimates before developing our final spending plan for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020-21,” Senator Browne said. “We now have a financial outlook that improved dramatically during those five months with both the Independent Fiscal Office’s and Department of Revenue’s fall revenue estimate projections improving by nearly $2 billion.

“Those improvements along with the use of CARES Act funds for public health and safety costs and increased enhanced FMAP allocations for Medicaid expenses have allowed us to close on a balanced Fiscal Year 2020-21 state budget without raising taxes and without borrowing and issuing new debt, which would have placed further stress on future state budgets.”

Overcoming the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s economy, the final FY 2020-21 budget is balanced with a final combined spending plan of $35.5 billion.

“Considering the Commonwealth’s dire financial position just a few short months ago, I am tremendously pleased that we are able to close out our fiscal year with a budget that does not place more burdens on our employers, workers and families,” Senator Browne said. “There is no denying the unprecedented challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented to our state and the impact that it has had on every resident. This budget recognizes that, but still supports the people of Pennsylvania by maintaining state government’s most critical obligations, including those in education and human services, especially during this crucial time.”

As is the case for most line items in the budget, funding for basic education, special education, early education and higher education is maintained for the full fiscal year in the complete spending plan at the same level as Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Spending in the final Fiscal Year 2020-21 state budget includes General Fund appropriations of $32.1 billion and an additional $3.4 billion in federal stimulus funds ($2.1 billion Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) and $1.3 billion federal CARES funds).

The final budget also includes $200 million to provide school property tax relief to replace the revenues school districts lost by the closure of Pennsylvania’s casinos during the pandemic shutdown.

 

CONTACT: Matt Moyer (Sen. Browne) ……………………………… 717-787-1349, mmoyer@pasen.gov