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  • Writer's pictureSUTV News

Governor Josh Shapiro makes budget address in Harrisburg

By: Adam Beam 2/6/2024

Governor Josh Shapiro, D-PA, delivered his address about the state's budget on Tuesday at the Capitol building in Harrisburg.

"We need to build a more competitive Pennsylvania that starts in our classrooms, runs through our union halls and our small businesses, through our farmlands and our high rises, our college campuses, and leads to a life of opportunity and retirement with dignity," Shapiro told guests in attendance during his address.

Shapiro is heavily focusing on the classroom ahead of the budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. One of the ways Shapiro hopes to accomplish his goals is to allocate $1.1 billion towards public schools. "Nearly $900 million of that will be sent to support our school children under a new adequacy formula so we can ensure every school has the appropriate level of resources they need to serve their students."

Gov. Shapiro speaks at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. (Photo courtesy of Allyson Ritchey)

Shapiro continued, "On top of that, my budget increases special education funding by another $50 million because we all recognize that some students need more resources and support. And it invests another $30 million in Pre-K programs to help recruit and retain the teachers who get our kids off to a great start."

Earlier in the month, Shapiro unveiled his plans to overhaul the PASSHE System of schools as well. This plan would see the schools already in the PASSHE System unite with 15 community colleges under a new governing body. The plan has gained support from the current leadership of these schools as well as PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein.

With this increase in spending, concerns for tax increases naturally follow. However, Shapiro promises a plan that would not lead to such increases, but one that hopes to balance the budget with $3.3 billion according to

During the address, Shapiro also touched on one of his main campaign promises: the legalization of marijuana. "Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland – practically all of our neighbors – have legalized marijuana," Shapiro stated. He continued, "We’re losing out on an industry that, once fully implemented, would bring in more than $250 million in annual revenue. And our failure to legalize and regulate this only fuels the black market and drains much-needed resources for law enforcement."

The Pennsylvania budget is usually set for July 1; however, the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget deadline was missed by over a month before it was officially passed. Shapiro's budget plan will have to pass the House and the Senate, with Pennsylvania having a divided government where neither Republicans nor Democrats hold the trifecta.

For the full transcript of Shapiro's budget address click the link here.

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