Budget Hearing Wrap with Governor’s Office of the Budget
Secretary Uri Monson, testified before the House Appropriations Committee. House Republicans focused their questions on the overall fiscal health of the Commonwealth.  Republicans also asked about specific budget proposals that were and were not in the budget, including Lifeline Scholarships. 

Key Takeaways

House Republicans were disappointed Lifeline Scholarships were not included in the governor’s budget after he voiced support for the program during his campaign.
The inclusion of revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the Department of Environmental Protection’s budget proposal has signaled the governor intends to support RGGI, another departure from his campaign.  
House Republicans are concerned with the inequities within the budget for higher education.  While State-Related Universities see a 7.1% increase, community colleges and state-owned PASSHE schools only receive a 2% increase.  
Workforce Development is an important part of economic development.  State government needs to do a better job of coordinating these programs internally and externally. 
The intentional cut of the ALS disease line item in the Department of Health’s budget is vile political gamesmanship and should be fixed by the administration. 
Once again, House Republicans shared concerns with the Property Tax and Rent Rebate expansion.  The proposal: 
o Does NOT take effect in the upcoming budget year. This means seniors will see less money in their rebates issued in July 2023, after the temporary 70% increase in the current fiscal year. This could lead to confusion for claimants who have already begun filing for rebates to be issued in July 2023. 
o Requires the transfer of funds from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Lottery Fund in order to provide the funding needed to pay the increased rebates, thereby reducing property tax relief already received by homeowners.
House Republicans believe in fully funding our State Police, however, we have major concerns with creating an off-line special fund for their budget.
House Republicans have repeatedly led the way on getting government out of the way and reducing unnecessary red tape. Changes to the permitting process are long overdue in state government. House Republicans have and will continue to support those changes.  Before money is allocated for these initiatives, we need specific benchmarks and assurances that change will happen. 

Notable Q&A

Chairman Grove questions the Budget Secretary.

Watch Full Hearing