Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pennsylvania Budget Update

Today, the Governor released his proposed budget for 2012-2013.  Governor Corbett described the budget as one that includes no tax increases but that does make cuts to higher education and public welfare programs.

Several pieces of the Governor's budget stand out this year:
  • Elimination of the General Assistance (GA) Program: The proposed budget ends the GA program, which serves individuals who do not qualify for TANF but have verifiable need such as those related to disabilities, domestic violence, caring for someone sick or disabled or participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program.  Most counties offer GA recipients $205 per month.  According to Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander, current GA recipients will be screened to see if they qualify for federal SSI or other programs.
    Community Legal Services has posted a statement on the decision to eliminate GA that gives more information about the program as well as the impact they think it will have on families. 
  • Creation of Block Grants: Under the proposed budget, new block grants will be created under the Department of Public Welfare and given to counties in the place of line item funding for programs such as Homeless Assistance and Behavioral Health Services.  A block grant is also being proposed to cover basic education costs.  This grant is the Student Achievement Block Grant.
Below are some of the articles that have been written about the budget proposal so far:







Take Action on the State Budget!

The Pennsylvania Senate and House Appropriation Committees have scheduled hearings on the governor's proposed FY 2012-13 budget. Below is a listing of when those hearings will take place.  Please contact your legislators or the appropriate committees to get more information about the budget or to suggest specific questions for the hearings.

Senate Appropriations Committee:
Department of Insurance, 3 PM, Tuesday 2/14
Department of Health, 1 PM, Tuesday 2/21
Department of Education, 9:30 AM, Monday, 2/27/12
Department of Public Welfare, 9:30 AM, Tuesday, 2/28/12

House Appropriations Committee:
Department of Insurance, 3 PM, Monday 2/27
Department of Health, 1:30 PM, Wednesday 2/29
Department of Education, 10 AM, Monday 3/5/12
Department of Public Welfare, 1:30 PM, Wednesday, 3/7/12

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