Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Randy Albright presented Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget plan while laying out the key points the budget seeks to accomplish: reinvesting in education, reducing school district property taxes, as well as reducing the overall burden on middle-class homeowners. In addition to this, Secretary Albright presented three deficits Pennsylvania faces: a structural deficit, an education deficit, and a jobs deficit. “Over the years the budget has been patch worked together from one-time revenue sources that has led to the structural deficit that Pennsylvania now faces today,” said Secretary Albright. Under Governor Wolf’s budget plan, $3.8 billion in school district property tax relief will be provided by October 2016, and the average homeowner would receive more than $1,000 in tax relief. In Allegheny County, Governor Wolf’s budget provides a $41 million increase for school districts, which breaks down to $33 million being added to basic education funding and an $8 million increase in special education funding. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center issued fact sheets for the other counties in Pennsylvania available here. Another highlight of the Governor’s budget is to proposal to add $28 million a year for human services allowing nonprofits and mental health professionals to invest in their services, community, and people. Secretary Albright’s Power Point Slides are available to download here.
After Budget Secretary Albright presented the Governor’s budget plan Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), House Caucus Administrator Brian Ellis (R-Butler), and Forbes Funds President Kate Dewey held an open discussion moderated by Hillman Family Foundations President David Roger. Several of the questions presented concerned the nonprofit and human services sector if a budget was not passed on time. Dewey and GPNP urged nonprofits that rely on state funding to start preparing now for a delayed budget. “Tweak your budgets now to deal with any disruptions,” Dewey stated. It was announced that in case of a budget delay Pittsburgh-based Bridgeway Capital will be assisting local nonprofits apply for short-term loans. Additionally, GPNP distributed tips for a budget impasse prepared by Forbes Funds Executive in Residence Don Goughler that are available here.
GPNP’s budget event was covered by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and the Twitter conversation from the event is below. Additionally Senator Costa referenced the GPNP annual budget meeting in June 2015 stating:
With respect to nonprofit organizations Secretary Albright, myself, and a few other House and Senate members participated in the GPNP annual budget meeting and the message that was delivered not only by the leaders of the organizations but also by us is that [nonprofits] should be contemplating a backup plan with respect to how they're going to provide their services and how they're going to pay their employees. In fact there is a mechanism in the Pittsburgh region ... that I know of that [nonprofits] can avail themselves to an organization that will lend them the proceeds to be able to do that. We encourage people to do that in the event that there is a stalemate on the budget that they should look to do that.#GPNPBudgetPA