Scavello: Senate Approves State Budget and COVID-19 Funding Package

Harrisburg – Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) today said the Senate has approved an interim state budget and the allocation of $2.6 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding to support individuals, small businesses, organizations and counties impacted by the virus.

            “Passing a five-month budget is the responsible thing to do, given that we cannot make accurate long-term revenue projections until the financial impact of COVID-19 and Governor Wolf’s shutdown of the economy are better known,” Scavello said. “Today’s action funds key state services and makes vital federal aid available to individuals and communities.”

House Bill 2387 is an interim $25.8 billion spending plan that provides five months of funding for most state agencies and services for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The appropriations are based primarily on current funding for agencies and services but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding is provided for a few select line items, notably for education and food security programs. “One of the most pivotal pieces of this budget bill is the inclusion of full-year funding for public education. This is a victory for Pennsylvania schools and will provide stability for our students and teachers as we look to reopen schools in the fall. In this unstable time, we sent a strong message that education is still a top priority and provided solidity for our communities,” Scavello said.

Senate Bill 1108 appropriates a portion of Pennsylvania’s federal CARES funding for critical needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding in the package includes:

  • $692 million for long-term living services providers.
  • $625 million for counties that did not receive a direct subsidy from the federal government.
  • $260 million for providers of intellectual disability and autism services.
  • $225 million to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses recover.
  • $175 million to provide rent and mortgage assistance to low- and middle–income families impacted by the pandemic.
  • $150 million to help school districts meet the challenges created by COVID-19 through school cleaning, as well as safety and security funding.
  • $116 million for child-care services.
  • $72.2 million to support higher education students.
  • $50 million to support first responders.
  • $40 million for agricultural and food insecurity programs.
  • $28 million for community programs, including domestic violence programs ($10 million), homeless assistance ($10 million) and legal services ($8 million).

“These are unprecedented times, and these measures serve as a bridge to what I hope and expect are better days,” Scavello said. “We need to get people back to work and get Pennsylvania back on track.”

 

CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717) 787-6123