Senate Approves FY 2012-13 Budget

(HARRISBURG) – – Better than anticipated revenues over the past few months enabled the Senate to pass a General Fund budget bill for Fiscal Year 2012-13 on Wednesday that makes significant restorations without raising taxes, according to Senator John R. Gordner (R-27).

“Senate Bill 1466 will provide restorations to areas of the Governor’s proposed budget that reflect the fiscal realities that we have today.   Increased revenues over the past few months allowed us to alter what the Governor had initially proposed, including significant restorations to higher education, basic education, early childhood funding, and social service funding,” Senator Gordner said.

SB 1466 maintains state support for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities, State System of Higher Education schools and community colleges at their current levels. The budget bill also includes additional support for local school districts over what the Governor proposed in February. SB 1466 adds more than $132 million in support for basic education, Accountability Block Grants and early childhood education programs over the February proposal.

Senate Bill 1466 also reinvests significant funding to help counties and local agencies provide essential social and health services and programs for Pennsylvanians with physical and mental disabilities, senior citizens and families.

The bill restores $84 million in funding for the various programs that would be bundled under the Governor’s proposed Human Services Development Block Grant. Under his proposal, funding for multiple county administered programs would be consolidated into a single block grant.

SB 1466 restores $20 million in funding for vital Community Mental and Intellectual Disability programs that assist thousands of Pennsylvanians and their families on a daily basis.

Despite the significant restorations, the overall funding level represents a modest 1.8 percent increase over the current budget spending.  The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The current fiscal year ends on June 30.