House State Budget Hearings Begin with Independent Fiscal Office
February 11, 2019
Today, the state House Appropriations Committee began its series of Pennsylvania state budget hearings, with testimonies from the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), Department of Revenue, and Department of Aging.
The House Appropriations Committee chose to forgo opening statements by Director Matthew Knittel and Deputy Director Brenda Warburton, and instead emphasized the importance of the members’ questions and requests for clarification and additional research. Representative Stan Saylor (R–York), Majority Chair, and Representative Matt Bradford (D–Montgomery), Minority Chair, each offered praise to Governor Wolf for his dedication to workforce development and his persistence in beginning the conversation on how to best educate and prepare Pennsylvania’s workforce.
Members were actively engaged in discussions about raising the minimum wage, corporate tax reform, and workforce education, and planning to ensure Pennsylvania’s aging population is supported. While the IFO offered research findings from its initial report, its office will take committee members’ questions into account as it releases an updated report next month.
Last week, Governor Tom Wolf (D–PA) delivered his fifth state budget address during which he outlined his spending plan proposal for the 2019–2020 fiscal year. HAP applauded Governor Wolf for prioritizing health care, preserving programs supported by the Tobacco Settlement Fund, and developing a workforce-centric budget that seeks to engage and improve the lives of Pennsylvanians across the state. In sustaining key funding lines within the proposed budget, Pennsylvania’s hospitals, obstetrics and neonatal intensive care units, critical access hospitals, and trauma and burn centers, will continue to offer Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable and complex patients specialized and accessible care.
The state Senate Appropriations Committee will begin its budget hearings on February 25.
Conversations regarding the funding of the state’s agencies, related offices, and the judiciary will continue during the next few weeks, and HAP will provide updates as they arise about developments and issues important to the hospital community .
For more information about HAP’s legislative priorities, please contact Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative affairs.