Highlights of Pennsylvania’s budget agreement
Highlights of a bipartisan spending plan for Pennsylvania state government’s 2017-18 budget year that starts Saturday:
THE BIG PICTURE
—Increases spending through the state’s main bank account to $32 billion. Approves about $870 million, or almost 3 percent, in spending above the last enacted budget of just over $31.5 billion, including approximately $400 million to go on the just-ending fiscal year’s books. Otherwise, increases spending $54 million, or 0.2 percent.
—Lacks legislation to fund it and requires more than $2 billion in yet-to-be-identified cash to balance, according to lawmakers.
— Plans to merge the Department of Corrections and Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole into a new Department of Criminal Justice.
— Plans to merge the Human Services and Health departments, but keep the Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs departments separate.
— Increases aid for public school operations and instruction by $100 million, an increase of nearly 2 percent to $6 billion.
— Increases early-childhood education funding by $30 million, an increase of 15 percent to $226 million.
— Increases special education funding by $25 million, an increase of 2 percent to above $1.1 billion.
— Increases state-owned university aid by $9 million, an increase of 2 percent to $453 million; otherwise holds higher education funding flat at $1.6 billion.
— EDUCATION: Grows 3.5 percent to $12.2 billion.
— HUMAN SERVICES: Cut 2 percent to $12.1 billion.
— PRISONS AND PAROLE: Cut by less than 1 percent to $2.5 billion.
— COURTS: Held flat at $355.5 million.
— GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Grows 5 percent to $325 million.
— ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Cut by less than 1 percent to $148 million.
— ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE: Held flat at $96 million.