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Gov. Wolf’s 2019-20 budget plan: Winners and losers

From pennlive.com

Gov. Tom Wolf introduced his 2019-20 state budget in a joint address before the General Assembly today.

Here are the winners and losers in the $34 billion plan. Follow the links for more details in specific areas, such as schools, business and state police.

Schools: Public schools see a big boost in aid under Wolf’s budget. There’s also a healthy increase for special education programs.

Colleges: The State System of Higher Education sees a slight uptick, but funding is flat for Penn State and the other “state-related” universities. On the upside, Wolf calls for more money for a grant program to help families pay for college.

State police: The governor wants to boost funding for state troopers. But Wolf is calling for a fee on towns that rely on state police.

Taxes: There’s no increase in the state’s sales tax or income tax in the governor’s plan.

Health care: Many health-related programs would get a slight boost in state aid. The plan offers more for long-term living services, programs to serve those with disabilities and efforts to aid those struggling with substance abuse.

Business: Companies are likely to cheer initiatives to bolster the state’s workforce and help workers prepare for jobs. But business leaders have already come out against Wolf’s plan to raise the minimum wage.

Environment: Programs designed to protect the environment will be asked to rely on money that may not materialize.

State workforce: There are no layoffs of any state workers in the governor’s budget.

Legislature: There’s a slight cut in funds for the General Assembly.

Libraries: The state’s libraries get flat funding, which is not good news for community libraries. Pennsylvania’s libraries get much less in state aid than they did in 2001.

Museums: The state’s museum commission would get a small boost in Wolf’s budget.

Harrisburg: The budget includes money for fire protection in the capital city.

Other takeaways: Here’s a concise look at highlights in the budget.

Deeper dives

The pragmatic governor: PennLive’s Charles Thompson looks at the practical approach Wolf employed in his first budget of his second term and why some Republican lawmakers offered praise for the governor.

Teacher pay: PennLive’s Jan Murphy examines the governor’s proposal to raise the starting salary for teachers in public schools.

See for yourself.

Text: Here’s the prepared text of the governor’s budget address.

The full budget: Here’s a link to the entire 2019-20 budget proposal. Note: It’s nearly 900 pages! Here’s a shorter list of the administration’s proposed line-item appropriations (9 pages).

PA Workforce Development Association