Today, the Senate approved an interim budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 including a plan to direct $2.6 billion in federal CARES funding to support individuals, small businesses, schools, organizations and county governments that were most severely impacted by COVID-19, according to Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35).
“Our Commonwealth has been decimated by this virus and the continued inability to allow businesses to reopen,” Langerholc said. “Today we took action to help those individuals and entities who are so desperate for assistance by allocating federal dollars and passing a base budget with no frills.”
Langerholc said House Bill 2387 is an interim spending plan that provides five months of funding for most state agencies and services for FY 2020-21. The appropriations in HB 2387 are based primarily on current funding for agencies and services in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget, but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding is provided for a few select line items in HB 2387, notably for education and food security programs.
“This is by no means an ending point to the budget discussion. We will continue to work in the coming days and weeks to supplement this partial budget,” Langerholc said. “Our main priority was to not hamper our businesses, individuals and schools any longer.”
As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Langerholc said he was particularly pleased that the CARES bill will provide crucial funding for two grant programs under the School Safety and Security Fund that will benefit both public and private schools.
“Schools, students and families were tremendously impacted by this public health crisis, so I’m pleased that funding has been targeted to support our education system,” Langerholc said. “Our schools will continue to face major challenges as they prepare for the fall reopening.”
Senate Bill 1108 appropriates a portion of Pennsylvania’s federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funding for critical needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding in the package includes:
- $692 million for long-term living services providers.
- $625 million for counties that did not receive a direct subsidy from the federal government.
- $260 million for providers of intellectual disability and autism services.
- $225 million to help Pennsylvania’s small businesses recover.
- $175 million to provide rent and mortgage assistance to low- and middle–income families impacted by the pandemic.
- $150 million to help school districts meet the challenges created by COVID-19 through school safety and security funding.
- $116 million for child-care services.
- $72.2 million to support higher education students.
- $50 million to support first responders.
- $40 million for agricultural and food insecurity programs.
- $28 million for community programs, including domestic violence programs ($10 million), homeless assistance ($10 million) and legal services ($8 million).
- $20 million for Cultural and Museum organizations.
- $9 million for early childhood education programs ($7 million for Pre-K Counts and $2 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance).
CONTACT: Gwenn Dando 717-787-5400