Harrisburg – The Senate today approved a state budget for Fiscal Year 2013-14 that holds the line on spending, while still providing key investments in education, public safety, economic development and job creation, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34).
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.
“This year’s budget reaffirms our commitment to fiscal restraint and fiscal responsibility by investing in key areas such as education and public safety, while also keeping spending in line,” said Corman. “I think a lot of good is going to come out of this budget because it equally recognizes the burden of government spending on taxpayers.”
House Bill 1437 provides key investments in education for students from the youngest ages through their college years. Basic Education Funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools will see an increase to $5.52 billion in FY 2013-14. That total is $32.5 million above the Governor’s request.
The budget substantially increases state support for early childhood education programs. Funding for the Pre-K Counts program will go up by $4.5 million and Head Start Assistance will receive an additional $2 million.
Additionally, the budget maintains state support for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and State System of Higher Education schools at current levels, with additional funding for Penn State University agriculture programs.
“This is the second year that we have been able to continue funding for the State Related Universities at current levels and continue our commitment with those schools to keep tuition increases down,” said Corman. “Higher education provides a great benefit for the Commonwealth and I am glad we can continue to support these institutions and students.”
The budget steps up funding for law enforcement and public safety programs to improve safety in neighborhoods and schools and on Pennsylvania’s highways.
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.
To view a copy of the budget line item breakdown, please visit Senator Corman’s website at www.jakecorman.com.