On Tuesday, Governor Wolf presented his 2017-2018 budget proposal, using a different approach to addressing the state’s growing fiscal deficit: rather than proposing a broad-based tax increase, his plan instead calls for notable changes to the operations of state government, including merging the Departments of Human Services, Health, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs into one entity, which would be called the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Governor’s proposal includes the following investments that affect children and youth in the Commonwealth:
- $65 million in additional funding for the state’s Pre-K Counts program and an additional $10 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program.
- An additional $9 million investment in evidence-based home visiting programs that would support 1,700 additional families.
- A $35 million increase in state funds for child care - including $10 million that will make it possible for 1,800 kids currently on state waiting lists to enroll in a child care program.
- A $100 million increase for Basic Education Funding to be driven out through the newly-enacted student-weighted formula that would increase the state’s fair share of providing basic education services to students.
- An increase of $25 million for special education funding through the enacted Special Education Funding Formula.
- An increase of more than $57 million designed to meet the goals of county child welfare needs based budgets.
- Continued state funding for both the Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
You can find PPC’s full coverage of the budget proposal including all line items related to children’s investments here.
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