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Wolf's Eighth and Final Budget - Our View

Governor Wolf delivered his eighth and final state budget address on Tuesday. Our analysis is it makes targeted, achievable investments in critical areas for Pennsylvania's children, pregnant women, and families while missing opportunities in other sectors impacted by the pandemic. Winding down the current 2021-22 fiscal year that relied on federal stimulus dollars and flat-funding programs to balance the budget, the 2022-23 proposal set forth by the governor allocates a measure of state investments to support kids and families in the long term after the one-time stimulus funds are gone.

The spending plan invests in early care and education areas for children from birth to age five and pregnant and postpartum women and birthing individuals. After two cycles of flat-funding, we are thrilled with the proposed increase of $15 million for evidence-based home visiting – in addition to another $8 million in federal funds for these services, as well as a substantial investment of a $70 million increase for high-quality pre-k for our state's eligible 3- and 4-year-olds. We'll be working with our Early Learning PA coalition partners in the Pre-K for PA, Childhood Begins at Home, and Thriving PA campaigns to advocate for increased access to voluntary, high-quality early care and education and healthy development opportunities.    

The unwelcome news is that the proposal does not include investments in child care, which is puzzling given that the industry has been in a national crisis for parents and providers during the pandemic. Through our advocacy efforts at the table with our Start Strong PA partners, PPC is committed to collaborating with policymakers to focus on the need to stabilize the sector. Read the ELPA coalition's reaction to the governor's proposal.  

The proposal also includes investments in K-12 education, and, after two years of flat-funding, we are pleased there is a slight increase for Career and Technical Education (CTE). This will help increase CTE opportunity and access so students can enter the workforce or better define career plans to enter post-secondary education. View or download our recent report.  

We think many of these investments are achievable and will work with our partners in the legislature on both sides of the aisle to ensure they are realized in the final budget due by June 30. Look for updates in future newsletters as budget negotiations progress. 

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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