The fiscal year ended on June 30, 2015. A budget was passed by the General Assembly, but vetoed entirely by Governor Tom Wolf. No funds can be appropriated until an agreement is reached between the administration and the legislature.
Now that school is in session and reserves are exhausted, people who benefit from state-funded programs are feeling the pinch. Nonpublic schools do not receive basic education tax dollars, but their students do benefit from line items that pay for textbooks, materials, equipment, and services that support their secular education through the Intermediate Units. The proposal this year finally achieves equity between public and nonpublic students – the line items increase at the same rate, but Catholic school students cannot benefit until the funds are available.
Charities are often the private contractors that provide services for state-funded programs like housing, foster care, or drug and alcohol counseling. As time goes on without a budget agreement, people in need will be turned away.
Our elected officials care how state public policy affects their constituents. Urge them to support legislative proposals that will release the funding for the textbooks, materials, equipment and key services that benefit all Pennsylvania students and urge them to release the funding for programs that provide a lifeline to the poorest and most vulnerable people in need.