Shapiro lays out budget priorities for coming year

Gov. Josh Shapiro unveiled a three-tier budget proposal for Pennsylvanians. Shapiro hopes to “Get Stuff Done,” “Create Opportunity” and “Advance Real Freedom” for all Keystone State residents.

“This year, we have a real chance to build safer communities, become more competitive economically and invest in our students and their success,” Shapiro said. “This budget lays out a comprehensive and aggressive focus on doing just that without raising taxes and maintaining a surplus of $11 billion at the end of June 2025.”

After investing a record $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding during his first year in office, Shapiro is doubling down in year two.

Highlights of that commitment include increases of $50 million more in special education funding, $50 million for school safety and $300 million for environmentally sustainable repairs and upgrades in school facilities.

In addition, the governor proposed nearly $125 million for increased recruitment and training of teachers to address classroom shortages across the state.

“This year we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do right by our kids,” Pennsylvania executive director of Teach Plus Laura Boyle said. “At the one-year anniversary of the Commonwealth Court decision declaring Pennsylvania’s current school funding unconstitutional, the governor has chosen to meet this moment with bold leadership, proposing an investment of $1.8 billion as the down payment on a multiyear commitment outlined by the Basic Education Funding Commission to bring our system into constitutional compliance. The governor is making good on his commitment to fully fund our public schools and bring real opportunity to kids in Pennsylvania.”

The governor unveiled a comprehensive 10-year Economic Development Strategy, the first of its kind in more than 20 years. Included in the plan is $500 million for PA SITES funding to attract new commercial sites to create inviting business environments for companies that plan to do business in the state.

“Today’s budget proposal is a very solid plan to deliver for every Pennsylvanian,” Sen. Jay Costa said. “It’s a thorough, bold plan to open the doors of opportunity in a myriad of areas. From historic investments in basic education funding to laying out an aggressive economic development plan, this budget prepares Pennsylvania’s students and workers for a vibrant future in our commonwealth.”

The budget includes provisions to cut childcare costs, to increase access to health insurance and address critical housing issues, among several other proposals to cut costs for Pennsylvania families.

The Shapiro budget also takes steps to combat gun violence and bolster first responder and emergency services.

The budget sets aside more than $100 million for various gun violence reduction initiatives. It adds four additional state police cadet classes and adds an additional $30 million for EMS and firefighter funding, doubling its investment from a year ago.

Shapiro spent the following week touting his budget plan across the state, telling KYW, “There is a $14 billion surplus – that means that over time, politicians in Harrisburg have taken $14 billion more from the good people of Pennsylvania than they need. Then they brag about how they’ve kept it in some bank account in Harrisburg instead of investing it back in the good people of Pennsylvania as I want to do.

“My budget is balanced. It doesn’t raise taxes. In fact, it cuts them. It makes significant investments in important things like education, economic development, public transit, just to name a few. If the legislature were to pass every single proposal that I put forth – and I’m just saying this as an example, because obviously we’re going to have some give and take – but if they were to pass every single thing I put forth, there would still be an $11 billion surplus at the end of that. Now is the time to invest.”