HARRISBURG – The Senate advanced two bills to implement key parts of the 2023-24 budget and drive out funding to schools, hospitals, EMS providers, higher education, libraries and more, according to Senator Pennycuick. These fiscal code bills take an important step to further finalize portions of the state budget which require implementation language.
“Passage of these bills provides a clear path to completing the state budget and addressing the needs of Pennsylvanians while respecting taxpayers,” said Pennycuick. “Passing two Fiscal Code bills allows for immediate funding of essential services while negotiations continue on other items important to Pennsylvanians. But we need the House of Representatives to return to Harrisburg and act.”
House Bill 1300 reauthorizes assessments and payments to hospitals, boosts reimbursement rates for EMS providers, and reauthorizes judicial fees that courts rely on for funding. All three of these budget items are important and time-sensitive, Senator Pennycuick said.
In addition, the bill directs funding to many non-controversial and bipartisan budget items related to education, including:
- Providing for a two-year tuition freeze for PASSHE schools.
- Allocating more than $260 million for community colleges.
- Distributing more than $70 million in state aid for libraries.
- Allocating more than $76 million for special education funding for Intermediate Units.
- Reimbursing schools for providing free breakfasts for all students ($46.5 million).
- Transferring more than $8.5 million to maintain current PHEAA grant levels.
- Distributing $11 million in grants for non-public school safety initiatives.
House Bill 1300, approved by a bipartisan vote, also distributes $150 million for the state’s Clean Streams Fund to address agricultural conservation, nutrient management, clean water procurement and stormwater management.
The bill also allocates $16 million in medical assistance incentive payments and changes how nursing home reimbursements are calculated to prevent dramatic swings that could force many providers to cease operations.
The Senate also voted to advance Senate Bill 757, which addresses other priorities included in the original budget deal Senate Republicans negotiated with Gov. Josh Shapiro in June.
This includes the creation of the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) program to provide additional educational options for students in failing schools, as well as $150 million in new funding for the state’s popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to expand educational opportunities to families throughout the state.
Senator Pennycuick underscored that while these bills have been advanced by the Senate today, critical support authorized by the legislation cannot be finalized until the House of Representatives also returns to session.
CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore (215) 541-2388