HARRISBURG—The Senate today 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.
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.
Overcoming the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s economy, the final $35.5 billion FY 2020-21 budget is balanced without the need for tax or fee increases or debt using a combination of current state revenues and resources and federal stimulus funding.
Following the vote, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) issued the following statement:
“This state budget is a product of necessity and responsibility, as well as recognition of the unfortunate economic hardships inflicted by the pandemic on families, workers, and employers.
“Given all the economic dislocation striking communities across the commonwealth, and the resultant revenue shortfalls, we are fortunate to finalize a budget without raising taxes or driving up state debt. State finances have improved over the grim projections from May. Being able to keep the budget on a steady track for the remaining seven months of the fiscal year is crucial, as we continue to pour resources and energy into battling the pandemic. More than anything, there is relief because the situation could have been much worse.
“We must acknowledge that federal stimulus funding helped us balance the books. If a long discussed second stimulus package is not forthcoming to help deal with coronavirus-imposed costs, next year’s budget will be even more difficult to balance than anticipated.
“This is not a time to expand the reach of state government through new spending and programs, nor is it a time to contract state effort by attacking existing services and institutions.”