2018-19 State Budget Now Law
The state House has approved a 2018-19 state budget that includes no new or increased taxes and makes significant investments in education, public health and safety. The $32.7 billion spending plan reflects an increase of 1.7 percent over the current year, which is below the rate of inflation. The budget invests a record-high $12.3 billion in preK-12 education. Basic education funding is up by $100 million to $6.095 billion, while early childhood education is up by $25 million and special education by $15 million. The plan also invests $30 million in career and technical education to help prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Additional funds will help protect communities by training more state police troopers and supporting emergency medical services. For the first time in a decade, the budget also sets aside money for the state’s Rainy Day Fund. To learn more about the budget, visit PAHouseGOP.com.
Budget Package Includes Measures to Boost School Safety
Recognizing the importance of keeping children safe in school, the 2018-19 state budget package includes three initiatives to boost classroom safety. A new $60 million block grant program will allow schools to identify their specific security needs and apply for grants to fund things like hiring school police officers, school resource officers, counselors and/or mental health counselors; alternative education and diversion programs; violence prevention initiatives; school safety and emergency preparedness plans; or physical upgrades to school buildings and equipment to improve safety. The budget package also creates a new Safe2Say program, which will give individuals an opportunity to submit anonymous reports via phone, computer or smartphone app of potential threats to the safety of individual students and school buildings. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will work to develop standards for school security assessments and mandatory training on school safety and security methods.
House OKs Peifer Pro-Jobs Measure
Continuing the commitment to grow job opportunities across the Commonwealth, the House has approved Rep. Mike Peifer’s (R-Pike/Wayne) bill to streamline the state’s business permitting process. House Bill 1284 would create the One-Stop Shop online portal under the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to aid current and potential business owners in identifying and securing the necessary business documents associated with establishing and operating a business in PA. The portal would be required, at minimum, to provide electronic access for registration of a business name, professional licensure requirements for businesses, registration of business structures with the Department of State, registration of a fictitious name, registration of state tax accounts with the Department of Revenue, registration of employer accounts with the Department of Labor and Industry, and identification of points for contact for political subdivisions for local permits and registrations. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
July 4 Marks PA’s Second Fish-for-Free Day
The second Fish-for-Free Day in Pennsylvania will be held Wednesday, July 4. Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone – residents and non-residents – to legally fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. All other fishing regulations apply. For more about fishing in PA, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website at FishandBoat.com.
Representative Mike Peifer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler
RepPeifer.com / Facebook.com/RepPeifer