2022-23 Fiscal Year Begins, PA Still Without Budget
HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - The 2022-23 fiscal year is officially underway, however, there is still no budget for the state of Pennsylvania as lawmakers failed to meet this week’s June 30 deadline.
The state budget determines the funding for various state agencies, organizations, public schools, state higher education institutions, municipalities and so many more.
Originally, both the House and Senate were scheduled to stay into the weekend to work to finalize the budget. But as lawmakers were sent home yesterday, House Republican leadership says there is still work to be done.
“At this point, there is not a total agreement on each of these different areas because it is very complicated,” said House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin). “There are multiple bills to a state budget, and it's not just a single sheet of paper. There’re five codes minimally that you have to deal with, whether it’s education, administration, tax code, general appropriations bill. And they're all interdependent. And so, you can’t just settle one without trying to settle the other ones, and we’re going to continue to do that.”
Lawmakers from both parties say finalizing language in the various code bills is likely causing the delay at this point. Just how long that delay will last is unclear. Lawmakers will not return to the State Capitol until after the Fourth of July.
"Rather than rush, trying to meet some arbitrary date, we're going to send the members home and put them on a 24 hour call back and allow some of the staff and ourselves to continue to meet and work through some of the differences, or things that just need to be finalized with the administration and our sister chamber, the Senate, and then bring the members back and finalize the budget, get it done, take care of the needs of Pennsylvania,” said Benninghoff.
On Friday, House Democratic Leadership released the following statement:
“The inaction we’ve seen is disappointing. With a $12 billion surplus, we can and should deliver for the people of Pennsylvania. Rather than pass a timely budget that helps working families, we’ve been distracted by unrelated issues and interjected politics at the expense of in-state tuition for Pennsylvania students. House Democrats stand ready to return next week to pass a budget that invests in Pennsylvania and serves the people we represent.”
In February, Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his final budget proposal which totaled $47.3 billion.