2006-07 Fiscal Year
The ending balance for the current fiscal year is going to be $475 million after a transfer to the rainy day fund of $158 million. This huge surplus is due to a large revenue surplus of $649.8 million. That $475 million fund surplus will roll into the next fiscal year.
2007-08 Fiscal Year
The Governor’s certified revenue estimate for the 2007-08 fiscal year is expected to be $26.680 billion. One time revenues expected in the fiscal year will add $173 million to the revenues available. There are no tax increases in the budget as passed. The growth in revenue compared to 06-07 is $656.7 million or 2.4%. Expenditures of $27.162 billion represent 3.26% growth over the previous fiscal year.
Tax changes totaling $46 million for 2007-08 are included as part of the final budget agreement. The table on the next page shows the cost associated with each proposal. Below is a more detailed description of the contents of the tax bill.
The budget shifts all currently general funded line items, with the exception of the Alzheimer’s Outreach program, from the lottery fund. This would save the general fund in excess of $19.0 million.
Family Caregiver Support Program
The Family Caregiver Support Program appropriation contains a small increase to provide for a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment. This program is also supported by $10 million in federal funds. The program assists families who maintain frail relatives in their home. Working through AAA’s, the program provides benefits counseling and, depending on income, financial assistance including supplies, services and home adaptations and devices. It is anticipated that 5,545 families will receive these services in 2007-08.
Alzheimer’s Outreach Services
The budget includes $250,000 for Alzheimer’s Outreach Services. Federal Funds used for Memory Loss programs are no longer available, however it is anticipated that Pennsylvania will receive $350,000 in federal funds for an Alzheimer’s Demonstration Grant program.
Funding for the Pre-Admission Assessment Program is increased by 34 percent for a total of $10.3 million in lottery funds. This increase reflects the transfer of assessment activities from PENNCARE to maximize federal earnings. This nursing home pre-admission screening program helps older Pennsylvanians and their families determine the least restrictive environment needed and assists them in securing and managing intensive in-home services tailored to their needs. It is anticipated that assessments and referrals to community services will increase in 2007-08. Referrals to nursing homes are expected to decrease.
This budget includes a $15.0 million increase in the lottery funded PENNCARE appropriation to continue the current Attendant Care Program and provide services to an additional 346 recipients. Funds are also used for Older Adult Protective Services to investigate suspected elder abuse reports. The increase would also be used to provide a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for direct care workers and to provide services as a result of nursing home transition activities.
In addition, The PENNCARE appropriation includes
$4.8 million to fund an initiative the Governor announced in February– Reforming
the Long-Term Living System – aimed at reducing reliance on institutional
long-term care and promoting growth of high quality home and community-based
A total of $21.3 million in Tobacco Settlement
funding is included in the budget to provide home and community-based services
to older Pennsylvanians. This includes an increase of almost $2.0 million to
continue current home and community-based services and expansion to additional
recipients, as well as nursing home transition activities. In addition, $4.6
million is proposed to be used for the initiative -- Reforming the Long-Term
Living System -- to reduce reliance on institutional care. Federal funds in the
amount of $2.4 million are also provided for this initiative.
The budget includes a total of $12.9 million in lottery, tobacco and federal funds for an initiative to reduce reliance on institutional long-term care and promote growth of high quality home and community-based services. An additional 2,200 individuals over the age of 60 will be able to remain in their homes or a community-based setting rather than moving to a nursing home.
Pennsylvania has the third oldest population of any state, and the fastest growing segment of this population is over age 85. The demand for services is expected to grow over the next several years until the 85+ population stabilizes in 2011.
Providing services for the rapidly growing number of seniors, especially those 85 and older, will present a major challenge for the commonwealth in the coming years. The number of seniors using home and community-based services has increased 70 percent since 2002-03. An additional 14 percent increase is projected in the current year.
The problem will come to a head in the near future, as 2006 was the year that the first wave of baby boomers, many struggling to care for elderly parents, joined the ranks of the 60-plus year olds. By the year 2020, one in every four Pennsylvanians will be age 60 or older.
PACE and PACENET
The Pharmaceutical Assistance Program provides help to qualified older Pennsylvanians who are 65 years of age and over and whose cost of drugs is a burden to them. The program is financed by the Lottery and Tobacco Settlement Fund revenue.
The commonwealth has expanded its PACE and PACENET programs to make them compatible with and complementary to the new Medicare prescription drug program. PACE Plus Medicare enables cardholders to take advantage of the features of both PACE and the new Federal Medicare Part D benefit by filling the gaps encountered by cardholders in Medicare Part D including deductibles, the donut hole phase of no Medicare coverage, and co-payment differentials between the Part D plan coverage and the PACE and PACENET copayments. PACE Plus pays the Medicare premiums for Part D coverage PACE cardholders, while PACENET cardholders pay the Part D premium.
With a heavier reliance on lottery funds and a reduced use of tobacco settlement funds, the budget for 2007-08 will allow the average number of seniors covered by PACE, PACENET or PACE Plus Medicare to rise to 357,725 which represents an additional 32,000 seniors. This represents a 10 percent increase over those receiving services in 2006-07 and a 60 percent increase since 2002-03. The budget includes $276.4 million in state funds to continue these programs.
To improve the economy of our state and the food industry in general, programs have been developed. The agriculture promotion programs have been developed to enhance the ability of Pennsylvania agriculture and food businesses to market their products in an ever increasing competitive environment. The Governor has recommended an appropriation of $1.29 million for Agricultural Promotion, Education and Exports program in the 06-07 state fiscal year. However, in the final version of the 07-08 budget this program received $1.53 million.
Agricultural research is the basis for continued strong, viable and profitable agriculture. Through research conducted by the PA Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth has state of the art facilities to test for animal diseases and provide cures. This program received $2.4 million for the 07-08 fiscal year. This represents an increase of $300,000 over the Governor’s recommendation.
State Food Purchase Program
This program provides grants to counties to purchase food to be distributed to the indigent. Grants are based on unemployment levels, legal immigrants, and medical assistance recipients. The Governor recommended that $18 million be appropriated in the 07-08 state fiscal year to the State Food Purchase Program. The 2007-2008 approved budget reflected the same level of funding.
Pa. Health Commission
The Pennsylvania Diagnostic Commission is part of a nationwide network of state and federal laboratories dedicated to identifying and combating animal diseases. This essential program received $6.67 million in the 07-08 budget which will assist the Vet labs to test various animal diseases.
State spending for the Department of Corrections will reach $1.6 billion, an increase of $184.1 million, or an 11.5% increase from the 2006-2007 fiscal year. This significant increase is partially due to expansion at current SCI facilities and the re-opening of SCI Pittsburgh.
The SCI appropriation has increased $163 million over FY 06/07 to $1.31 billion. The inmate population is the single most important factor affecting costs in the correctional system. By December 2007, the inmate population is projected to grow to 45,596, an increase of 1,500 from December 2006. When factoring in the cost of inmate health care, education and training expenses, the current average cost per inmate is $38,518.
Due to the inmate population increase, the Department is re-opening SCI Pittsburgh with an initial capacity of 750 beds as of July 2007 and an additional 750 beds after January 1, 2008.
The Medical Care appropriation is $204 million, an increase of $16 million. Following a National trend, every year sees an increase to the cost of providing adequate healthcare to the inmates, especially the elderly population.
The Inmate Education and Training appropriation is $46 million, which is $4 million more than in FY 2006-2007.
Probation and Parole spending will total $106 million in FY 2007/2008, which is an increase of approximately $8 million from last year.
In the enacted 07/08 budget, the General Government Operations appropriation received a decrease of approximately $7.8 million or 9% below the Governor’s FY 06/07 budget.
The Sexual Offenders Assessment board remained at the Governor’s February budget proposal of $3.7 million, as did the Adult Probation services appropriation at $19.3 million.
Economic Stimulus programs, community and business incentive spending, and other investments in education and training initiatives continue to produce an expanding state economy. Total state non-farm employment is about to rise above 5.8 million jobs, while our 4.2% unemployment rate continues to trend below the national average.
A slowing housing market and lower projected GDP growth provided a cautionary note for the 2007 state economy when the year began, making commonwealth investments for new jobs and expanded commerce even more important this year.
Commonwealth Financing Authority
Economic Stimulus resources invested through the Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA) have already committed $300 million in infrastructure financing to prepare new sites for business development, and $200 million for water infrastructure improvements. Other CFA programs have provided nearly $50 million for venture investments, $50 million for commercial development targeted to rebuild town centers throughout the commonwealth, and nearly $45 million for new agricultural development opportunities. CFA debt service payments to finance the bonds issued to support these investments will rise to $47 million in the new budget, an increase of $10.1 million above current year expenditures.
Business Financing Programs
A recapitalized Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF), through a $75 million transfer from the Commonwealth Finance Authority, $45 million Opportunity Grant program, $22.5 million Infrastructure Development program, a revitalized Small Business First Fund, and revolving loan investments through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority will combine to provide an estimated $400 million for business investment and job development.
Pennsylvania’s aggressive array of business financing programs remains among the largest in the county. These investments continue to be vital to attract and retain jobs here in the commonwealth. In 2005 the commonwealth lead the nation in attracting new manufacturing facilities. Last year these projects accounted for 10 percent of all projects locating in North America, mitigating the national trend of declining manufacturing employment.
Since 2000 manufacturing employment in the commonwealth has declined by 248,000 jobs. This decline has reduced the manufacturing share of our workforce from 16.3% to 11.9%. Long term stability of our state economy will depend upon strategic investments to strengthen our competitiveness. The proposed budget would have redirected 4% of annual Tobacco Settlement Fund payments ($13.4 million) to invest $6.7 million in new Health Venture Account projects, and $6.7 million for biotechnology commercialization. The final budget agreement delays these funding decisions until the Fall when the legislature will consider funding these proposals along with the Governor’s $500 million Jonas Salk Legacy Fund. The budget does fund a $5 million increase for Infrastructure & Facilities Improvement Grants, providing $20 million for the 2007-08 fiscal year.
The budget increases support to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority Fund by $1.5 million, to total $51.7 million. The increase will support the creation of up to 6 new Keystone Innovation Zones, created to foster business, higher education and community collaboration to spur development.
Film Grant Program
The final budget agreement will fund a new $75 million film tax credit program and will continue to provide $5 million for the Film Grant Program. The grants and tax credits will be used to stimulate film production here in the commonwealth, including early project development work.
The budget includes $34 million, a $4 million increase, for Housing & Redevelopment Assistance. New community initiatives included in the proposed budget include a $926,000 increase in Land Use Planning Assistance, and a new $1 million appropriation to the Community Action Team to support downtown development, merger, and other consolidation initiatives to improve local service delivery.
In the budget for fiscal year 2007-08, the largest increase is within the Forest Pest Management component of the department. The funding provided for pest management is $5.2 million. The growing number of gypsy moths, along with other insects in the 2.1 million acres of forest land represents the need for additional funding for forest pest control. DCNR manages almost 2.4 million acres total of state park and forest land. The state park system in the Commonwealth is comprised of 116 parks and 2 conservation areas within 62 counties. The funding levels for both State Parks and State Forests are both increased as well. State parks have received an increase of 7.4% to $63 million and for State forest an increase if 13%, $16 million. In addition, the funding level for the Commonwealth’s Heritage Parks has been increased as well to $9.6 million.
Growing Greener II
The budget for 2007-08 also includes funds from the Growing Greener II bond initiative. Growing Greener II was established in May 2005 and will provide the department with $218 million over the next six years to improve state parks and forests, community park and recreation grants and for open space conservation. Also included in the proposed budget is an increase in the municipal waste disposal fees. These fees, when collected, are dedicated to the Environmental Stewardship Fund. It is anticipated that in FY 2007-08 these fees will contribute $8.4 million and in the following years $11.2 million annually and will contribute to the debt service cost in the amount of $625 million that was incurred by the Growing Greener II environmental bond issue.
The following chart shows the improvement project totals through July 2006 that were accomplished with Growing Greener II monies.
This $625 million, six year Growing Greener II plan is providing:
· A total of $217.5 million to DCNR for the projects like above.
· Programs that have already received this critical funding include:
· $40.6 million for 63 community parks, recreation and state park & forest improvement projects.
· $26.1 million in order to preserve 13,214 acres of open space
· In order to ensure continued funding to maintain expenditure levels, this budget proposes a $0.50 per ton increase to the municipal waste disposal fee.
Through the Environmental Stewardship Fund there are also increases in some appropriations. They are an increase in the amount of $1.2 million for Parks and Forest Facility Rehabilitation, $1.3 million in Community Conservation Grants and $230,000 for Natural Diversity Conservation Grants.
The passed budget for DEP could be called a return to core functions. There are hefty increases in the Environmental Program Management and Operations line items which increase by 8% and 10% respectively. But total General Fund expenditures actually decrease by 1.7%. The decreases are primarily in the grant programs administered by the Department.
The following grant programs are eliminated in the budget: Storm Water Demonstration Project, Water Contamination Remediation, Alternative Energy Initiatives and Chesapeake Bay Education. A new $300,000 expenditure for municipal climate change plans is added.
Environmental Stewardship and Hazardous Sites Clean-up Funds
Neither of the Governor’s proposed increases in the tipping fees paid for municipal trash was implemented as part of this budget. The Governor proposed a 50 cent per ton increase to the Environmental Stewardship Fund (ESF) to help pay the fund’s share of the debt service on the Growing Greener II bonds. The fund will pay those increased costs out of existing funds.
A more substantial tipping fee increase of $2.25/ton of municipal waste had been proposed for the Hazardous Sites Clean-up Fund (HSCA). Instead the fund will receive a share of the Keystone 93 distribution worth $19 million for both 2007-08 and 08-09. This amount combined with an estimated $32 million existing in the fund will maintain the HSCA fund at a minimal operating level. The amounts going to HSCA and Keystone 93 are shown in the accompanying table.
Energy Independence Fund
The Governor’s bold energy proposal was not enacted into law except for some small changes updating the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to clarify the “force majeure” requirements and placing smaller step ups to the desired amounts of alternative energy that is to be sold in Pennsylvania.EDUCATION
The final budget agreement provides a $567 million, 6.4% increase in basic education spending. This increase would boost funding by $2.3 billion above spending levels when the Governor’s first term began. These investments continue to demonstrate results. The commonwealth was one of only 7 states where 4th graders progressed significantly between 2003 and 2005 in both math and reading tests, while 8th graders have improved scores above tests taken three years ago in 5th grade (6% in math, 13% in Reading).
Budget highlights include a 3.5% increase of $167 million in the Basic Education Subsidy, including foundation funding of $58 million targeted to the lowest spending districts within the commonwealth. This year’s foundation proposal would include a second tier targeting funds to relatively poorer lower spending districts with higher education costs. Accountability Block Grant funding would be increased by $25 million, science and technology initiatives would grow by $75 million, and a new $75 million investment was approved for Pre-K programs.
Targeted initiatives to fund early education programs will be expanded significantly. These investments have already enabled 4,287 additional students to enroll in pre-kindergarten, while an additional 5,800 students are now able to participate in Head Start. The budget targets $75 million expansion of Pre-K programs. The $25 million Accountability Block Grant increase will fund new full day kindergarten programs. Head Start funding would remain at $40 million.
Science & Technology Initiatives
The Science It’s Elementary initiative begun this year will receive $13.5 million, a $3 million increase. The program supports efforts to improve elementary science instruction through hands on learning and new curriculum training. Classrooms for the Future would receive $90 million to fund the second year of a multiyear program to place internet-equipped laptop computers in math, science, English, and history classrooms and equip teachers with multi-media technology.
High School Reform
High school reform, through the Project 720 initiative, created to insure more rigorous curriculum standards and graduation requirements, will receive $11 million, a $3 million increase above the current year. The budget will also provide $10 million for dual enrollment programs, a $2 million increase above the current year. An estimated 10,000 college credit courses were taken this year by high school students through dual enrollment programs. The budget also includes $2 million to open 2 new post secondary technical colleges in underserved rural areas.
Special Education programs will receive an additional $29.4 million, a 3% increase. Early Intervention funding would be increased more than $30.9 million, totaling $173 million. Approved Private Schools would receive $89.9 million for the next fiscal year, and a $6.2 million supplemental increase for the current year. Chartered Schools for the Deaf and Blind will receive $34.2 million and an $800,000 supplemental increase for the 2006-07 fiscal year. The budget also includes $5 million to resolve prior year audits for approved private schools and chartered schools for the deaf and blind.
Aid to Non-Public Schools & Charter School Reimbursements
Aid to Nonpublic Schools would be increased by 3.4%, including $86.5 million for Services to Nonpublic Schools and $26.45 million for Textbooks, Materials and Equipment. Charter school reimbursements to public schools will be increased by $36.5 million, to total $163.3 million.
Public Library Subsidy
The Public Library Subsidy Program supports and improves state and local library services and ensures access to these services. Last year’s budget increased the subsidy to $75.5 million dollars, a ten year high. The Governor’s budget proposal for FY2007-08 suggests slightly increasing the Public Library Subsidy to $75.75 million dollars.
The EITC is a tax credit provided to businesses for contributions made to scholarship organizations, including pre-kindergarten scholarship programs. The budget agreement includes a $15 million increase over last year, increasing the total amount to $75 million.
Other significant funding increases would include a $7 million increase for Teacher Professional Development, to total $30.37 million, a $20.18 million increase, totaling $494.8 million for School Employees’ Social Security costs and $451.17 million appropriation for School Employees’ Retirement costs, an $68.4 million increase to cover increasing employer contribution rates.
The budget includes a new $6.043 million school food services initiative to increase the number of school breakfasts served and fund incentives for schools that adopt best practice nutritional guidelines, and $1 million to encourage school districts to explore better service delivery through shared services with other districts.
The budget includes a 3 percent increase for operating funds for community colleges, or an additional $6.7 million. In addition, a total of $44.05 million is included for the commonwealth’s share of approved capital debt service and lease payments. Together this represents an overall 3.5 percent increase in spending on community colleges.
Funding for the community colleges is shared by sponsoring counties or school districts, the students through tuition payments and the commonwealth. State funding includes a hold harmless clause so that no institution receives less than the prior year’s funding. In addition to a base supplement of funds for a current fiscal year, there is a growth supplement designed to provide additional funding based upon full-time equivalency (a measurement of full-time enrollment in individual community colleges). Finally, there is an economic development stipend which is based upon enrollment and is designed to fund colleges with programs that focus on high-priority occupations. The state annually publishes a list that identifies these occupations.
The budget includes the Governor’s $2.0 million initiative to create new opportunities for postsecondary education and training in underserved regions in high-demand technical fields by launching the state’s first two Technical Colleges. The Technical Colleges will be located in parts of the state where students do not currently have access to affordable certificate and associate degree programs to prepare for high-skill technical occupations like engineering.
State System of Higher Education
The State System of Higher Education will receive an additional $16.4 million, or a 3.36 percent increase over the current year. Funding for the Education and General line is increased by 3.5%. Funding is distributed through the Chancellor’s Office to individual universities in accordance with a formula that considers the enrollment and programs of the school and the cost of operating and maintaining the individual campuses.
The PASSHE appropriation consists of various line items including state universities, recruitment of the disadvantaged, affirmative action and program initiatives, as well as the PA Center for Environmental Education and the McKeever Center.
In addition, PASSHE will receive $13.18 million in Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund money for deferred maintenance projects.
Currently there are more than 109,000 full and part-time students attending these universities and the current instate tuition is $5,038 per year (room, board and fees are extra and vary among the universities).
Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University will receive 2 percent increases over the current year’s appropriation for their Education and General lines. Combined, state support for the state-related institutions is increased by $13.7million.
Academic Medical Centers
Pennsylvania funds three academic medical centers: Hershey Medical Center (Pennsylvania State University), Temple University Hospital (Temple University) and UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (University of Pittsburgh).
Pennsylvania funds these centers as part of the Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance budget. The Commonwealth earns federal funds to help pay for the centers. Specifically, the federal match for state payments is approximately 55 percent and the state share is 45 percent.
The budget for 2007-2008 provides a 2 percent increase in payments, or a total state appropriation of $21.59 million.
Eleven additional institutions of higher learning receive some financial assistance from the commonwealth. On average, state support for the State-Aided Colleges and Universities increases by .5 percent.
*See non-preferred print-out for a breakout of funding for individual institutions.
Grants to Students
The budget includes level state funding for the Grants to Students Program. This is the state’s scholarship program which helps students pay tuition at an accredited college or university.
PHEAA will continue the commitment made under the GIFTS initiative and will provide up $60 million to supplement the state appropriation. In addition, PHEAA will provide $15 million in PHEAA earnings – for a total PHEAA contribution of $75 million.
The PHEAA Board annually determines the distribution of funds to applicants on criteria including family income, family size and the cost of the institution the student will be attending. Currently the number of grant recipients is 166,210 students, the average award amount is $3,100 and the maximum award is $4,500.
A new grant formula implemented in 2006-2007 is designed to produce grant awards that cover a greater portion of college costs for needy students, regardless of whether a student is attending a community college or a high priced private college.
Institutional Assistance Grants
The budget includes a $621,000 increase for the Institutional Assistance Grants Program, or a 1.5% increase. These funds assist 85 independent, post-secondary institutions to stabilize education costs which benefits student grant recipients enrolled at those institutions. This funding level will slightly increase the per capita grant of $1,061, a $9 increase over 2006-2007, based on an estimated 39,558 students.
Matching Funds Program
The Matching Funds Program, which disburses matching funds as a percentage of the federally-required match for the Federal Perkins Loan Program and the Federal Work-Study Program is level funded at $14.1 million.
Agricultural Loan Forgiveness Program
The budget continues the Agricultural Loan Forgiveness Program and includes an appropriation of $85,000. The program forgives up to $2,000 each year with a maximum forgiveness of $10,000 per recipient.
New Economy Technology Scholarships
The budget includes state funding of $4.35 million, for the New Economy Technology Scholarships, to be supplemented by PHEAA business earnings of $2.45 million for a total of $6.8 million. The maximum grant award is $3,000 per year. Scholarships are awarded to Pennsylvania students to pursue college degrees in computers, math and science and who commit to work in Pennsylvania after graduation, thus expanding Pennsylvania’s skilled workforce.
Nurse Educator Shortage Initiative
The budget includes $2.45 million for an initiative aimed at increasing the number of nurse educators in the commonwealth. Funds would be available to nursing schools to help cover the difference of what a person can make as a practicing nurse versus an educator.
Cheney University Keystone Academy
An appropriation of $2 million is included for the Cheyney University Keystone Academy, to recruit gifted students to enroll at the university.
The appropriation recommended to be authorized in the budget for fiscal year 2007-08 is approximately $54 million. These appropriations will be made from the restricted revenue accounts within the State Gaming Fund. The following is a breakdown of the appropriations recommended for the various departments that work with the Gaming Control Board as well as the Board itself.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will obtain a loan from the Property Tax reserve account in the amount of $22,575,000. This loan will be repaid by the slot operators when all 11 slot machine licenses have been issued and all the facilities are operating. At that time the Board will adopt a repayment schedule based on the assessment of each slot machine licensee’s gross terminal revenue.
In December 2006 the PGCB issued 11 permanent operator licenses. Five of the licenses issued were to Category 2 applicants and six Category 1 licenses. However, payment of these license fees is not due until such time that the license is issued. Due to the fact that many of these facilities have yet to open, the Board is faced with a short fall of revenue that had not been anticipated. They do expect funds to come in once licensed facilities begin repaying the Board for their investigative fees. However, because the anticipated opening dates are staggered, the return of those fees to the Board will be as well. In order to make up for this shortfall, the PGCB has now implemented a draw down program from the facilities that are already operating. What this entails is that on a weekly basis the Department of Revenue will “draw down” from each facility $800,000 and 1.5% Gross Terminal Revenue (GTR) from each facility.
Currently these “draw downs” are being taken out of the Section 1401 accounts which were created by the General Assembly under Act 71. Each facility is required to deposit $5 million into this account two days prior to opening. Today only five of these accounts exist.
The Department of Health’s budget contains pieces of the Governor’s major initiative for health care, “Prescription for Pennsylvania”.
One of the initiatives that is being funded in this budget mandates that health care providers re-examine the manner in which they treat patients. Currently, there are 20,000 cases of hospital acquired infections. These infections have contributed to nearly 2,500 deaths in one year, and have increased the average hospital stay to more than 16 days. This number could be seriously reduced, potentially saving $3.5 billion in hospital care and countless cases of human pain and suffering.
Sb968 specifically addresses this problem. In this measure, a health care facility and an ambulatory surgical facility shall develop and implement an internal infection control plan to promote the health and safety of patients and health care workers, providing care to these patients.
The infection control plan establishes a multidisciplinary committee that shall include medical staff, administration, laboratories, nursing and pharmacy. The plan shall measure the effectiveness of detection, control and prevention of health care-associated infections. It shall include a system to identify and designate patients known to have been infected with a microbial infection or resistant organism. Each plan shall be required to contain an intervention protocol that includes: infection control precautions, treatment protocols, isolation procedures, and mandatory educational programs for personnel. The plans shall be submitted to the Department of Health. However, hospitals shall report health care associated infection data to the Center for Disease Control. Each nursing home shall pay the department a licensing fee sufficient to operate the Patient Safety Authority. The total realized by the department from this assessment amount shall not be more than $1 million per year. This year’s budget provides $2 million for the start-up and operation of this new program.
Scope of practice
Another component of the Prescription for Pennsylvania deals with the “scope of practice” for health care professionals. Generally, changing the scope of practice for health care practitioners is aimed at reducing health care costs. It also provides that there be greater opportunities for clinical health care administered to areas and neighborhoods of Pennsylvania that have been underserved. There are a number of legislative measures that address this: Hb1251, Hb1252, Hb1253, Hb1254 and Hb1255. These measures change the practice of medicine for physician assistants and nurse midwives, among other professionals. The 2007-08 approved budget provides $2 million to carry out the provisions of the “scope of practice”.
The Governor recommended in the 2006-07 budget that $14.056 million be used to purchase and stockpile antiviral stockpiles. This effort is part of the Commonwealth influenza pandemic preparedness planning efforts that have been recommended by the federal government. The General Assembly agreed with this level of funding especially in light of the seriousness of the disease, and approved funding this program at $14.05 million for the 07-08 state fiscal year.
In the Governor’s 2007-08 budget, there is an increase of more than $2 million in the program entitled, Quality Assurance, from the prior year. The 2007-08 budget appropriates $18.3 million. It is expected that much of this money will be used to step up efforts in this Bureau to inspect birthing centers and rural health care clinics.
The line item, AIDS Programs, funds services that provide testing for at risk populations, as well as those who have acquired AIDS. Case management is another necessary component of the AIDS Program that provides wrap around services for those who are seriously ill. The legislature increased the Governor’s proposed funding level of $9.5 million to $10 million or $500,000.
The Historical and Museum Commission provides state and local museum assistance.
Museum Maintenance Program
The Commission’s Maintenance Program is $2.0 million in 2007-2008. In addition, funds from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund for historic site development are $6.4 million. Funding is available to Pennsylvania non-profit organizations and public agencies that operate a publicly accessible historic property listed in, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places, or that operates a contributing historic property in a National Register historic district. Grants are awarded on a 50-50 matching basis and support projects in the areas of redevelopment, preservation and rehabilitation and restoration.
Museum Assistance Grants
The budget includes $4.1 million in funding for the Museum Assistance Grant Program. The Museum Assistance and Local History Grant Program is a competitive financial assistance process available to all qualified history related institutions within Pennsylvania. It is anticipated that 200 museum assistance competitive grants and 155 general operating support grants will be awarded in the 2007-08 fiscal year, although the number of grants awarded may vary depending on the average award amount.
The budget includes level funding for the individual Non-Preferred Museums that historically receive financial assistance from the state in non-preferred appropriation bills.
*See non-preferred print-out for a listing of individual museums.
All of the appropriations within the Insurance Department were funded at the levels proposed by the Governor in his February Budget. The most important change from the previous fiscal year is the additional money which is provided for the Cover All Kids program.
The enabling legislation for the Cover All Kids program was adopted by the legislature in the fall. For FY2007-08 the budget includes $12.2 million in state money and $20.5 million in federal money to cover a total of 21,000 additional children. Current enrollment in the CHIP program is 161,402 as of June 2007. In January of 2007 the enrollment was 152,349.
Current enrollment in the adultBasic program is 46,663 with an additional 101,077 people on the waiting list. The Governor’s budget proposed funding only half a year of the adultBasic program as it would then become part of Cover All Pennyslvanians. Given that Cover All Pennsylvanians, however, has not been enacted as part of the budget, adultBasic will be funded for the entire fiscal year as it has been in the past.
The FY 2007-08 budget provides $6 million to repay the loan to the General Fund made by the Underground Storage Tank Indemnity Fund. This is the same amount that was enacted in the FY2006-07 budget.
All of the appropriations for the Judiciary see modest increases of 2% with the exception of the transfer from the restricted account for the Judicial Computer System which is $49.6 million, an increase of 18.8%. The budget also splits the current Judicial Council line item into a new Interbranch Commission line item.
Funding for the legislature is proposed at current fiscal year levels except for the following lines:
Through the final budget agreement Employment Services, whose program was originally completely eliminated in the proposed budget, has been restored to $10.7 million. Although this is a reduction in funding, many services that would have been cut completely will now be available. However, this is not true for the Self Assistance Employment program. Although the merits of this program were not disputed, this program was also originally cut from the proposed budget and the restoration in funding available is $500,000.
A funding increase in this budget is for a change to be made in the Worker’s Compensation Program through the Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund. The appropriation for this fund is approximately $2.2 million. This program provides income and medical services to those who qualify. Included in this program are workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, occupational disease payments and social security disability payments. In the final budget arrangement however, the funding for occupational disease payments has been reduced to $1.1 million, a difference of approximately $184,000.
Self Employment Assistance and Employment Services
Through the 2007-08 budget agreement both of these programs have been reduced most dramatically. The Self Employment Assistance program, as mentioned above, has been reduced from $3 million to $500,000. In addition, the funding for Employment Services has been reduced by nearly 50%. The original funding which was at $20.9 million has now been reduced to $10.7 million.
Job Training & Industry Partnerships
The Department of Labor & Industry is the lead agency in the administration of the interagency employment and training programs for the Commonwealth’s adult labor force and youth. The industry partnerships that were set up through this program received $5 million in the final budget agreement where the funding falls under Industry Partnerships. These partnerships have assisted in creating opportunities for a variety of the Commonwealth’s citizens. Included are TANF clients and those who are unemployed. In addition, programs have been established to provide at risk youth with skill development, career education and job placement. These industry partnerships have become a valuable resource that assist both the workforce and workplace as these two groups are now able to fulfill the other’s needs.
Job Ready made the initial investment of $5 million to allow for Dual Enrollment for high school students. In this proposed budget, a total of $10 million, a 25% increase, to assist high school students earn college credits.
As a result of the initial investment into this program, high school students are enrolled in nearly 10,000 college courses this year.
Since 1987 the Departments of Public Welfare and Labor & Industry through this program have had a collaborative agreement to assist individuals receiving welfare.
This program provides direct access to PA CareerLink representatives. Through this direct connection, a match is determined based on the individual’s job skills, interests and work experience with the current job opportunities available.
This program also provides employers with a direct link to a pool of job ready candidates.
An additional cut that was proposed in February was a reduction in funding in the amount of $450,000 for the Centers for Independent Living. However, through the final budget this funding has been restored to last year’s funding level as a result of the restoration of $450,000 making the total funding amount at $2.25 million.
The 2007-2008 budget includes $19.8 million for the Department’s general government operations. This is an increase of $1.1 million above FY 2006/2007.
The Veteran’s Homes received an additional $7.8 million in state funds for a total of $91 million. The consolidation of the six veteran’s homes appropriations into a single appropriation has allowed the Department to improve program management and enhance operational efficiencies at these facilities.
The Scotland School for Veterans’ children appropriation has increased by $700,000, which will help to serve children of Commonwealth veterans who are considered to be “at risk.”
The enacted budget funds the Educational Assistance program at $8.1 million. This program provides 100% tuition grants for National Guard members in Pennsylvania who attend approved two or four year colleges in the Commonwealth.
The Disabled Veterans Transportation program will be at $350,000 in FY 2007/2008.
The Civil Air Patrol, eliminated from the Governor’s FY 07-08 budget request, will again receive $450,000 in the enacted budget for the coming year.
TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND
The Governor and the General Assembly in the 2005-06 fiscal year enacted Act 41 of 2005. This Act redirected 12.5% of the funds allocated to health care insurance for uninsured adults and 25% of the funds that were going to tobacco cessation and prevention to fund long term care services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
In the 2007-08 budget the Governor estimated that the Tobacco Settlement Fund would receive $406 million. However, since the number of cigarettes being sold has decreased the state received $348 million
Health Care Insured for the Uninsured: In 2005-06 the state was able to expand enrollment in Adult Basic (ABC) by approximately 50,000 individuals. The state was able to expand this program by receiving funds from the Community Health Reinvestment Agreement with four major Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. For 2007-08 this agreement equated to approximately $99.6 million. This money in the Community Health Reinvestment Agreement will be allocated to Adult Basic Insurance. However, in the eminent future the implementation of “Cover all Pennsylvanians” will expand the amount of people who have been receiving adult health insurance through the program expanded through the Tobacco Settlement funds. Consequently more people will have health insurance thereby decreasing the need for the Hospital Uncompensated Care segment of the tobacco settlement fund. Overall, the Health Care Insurance for the Uninsured is expected to receive $187 million.
Many of the proposed changes in the programs offered under the Tobacco Settlement Plans in the 2007-08 budget were not adopted at this time, with the Jonas Salk Legacy Fund being one of them.
In the Fiscal Code there were some changes to the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation program regarding the allocation of funds. Prior to this budget 30% of the grant was allocated to 48 primary contractors with many counties not having any primary contractor. The remaining 70% was driven out by using population figures. However, this 2007-08 budget provides that counties shall join together to receive Prevention and Cessation monies. There will be only 8 primary service providers to dispense 30% of this money to various regions in the state. 70% of the funds left in the program will be given as grants to primary contractors and then allocated to counties who have a population of greater than 60,000.
NEW TRANSPORTATION FUNDING INITIATIVE
Beginning in fiscal year 2007-08 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (TPC) and the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will enter into a public-public partnership in order to deliver one of the largest infusions of money into roads, bridges, and transit in the history of the Commonwealth.
The TPC will enter into a fifty year lease agreement which will require it to make payments to PennDOT. In return, the TPC will be allowed to toll and operate Inter-state 80.
Below is a chart of scheduled payments from the TPC to PennDOT:
The TPC will meet these financial requirements in three ways: by issuing up to $5 billion in Motor License Fund backed bonds*; using excess Turnpike spine-line revenue and monetizing future spine-line revenue; and using excess Interstate-80 revenue and monetizing future Interstate-80 revenue.
*The debt service on the bonds backed by the Motor License Fund will be paid by the Commission. The issuance of these bonds will have no effect on the amount of funds available in the Motor License Fund.
Transit Funding Changes
HB1590 completely restructures the way mass transit is funded in Pennsylvania. While some of the sources of funding remain the same, the old patchwork system of funding is repealed and replaced with one dedicated fund – the Public Transportation Trust Fund, which will be established in the state treasury.
Sources of funding: The following will be deposited into the Public Transportation Trust Fund annually.
*Beginning in FY2010-2011 this money wi
ll be increased by an annual 2.5% COLA ($250M of this will be operating money in each fiscal year)
** This amount is equal to the total general fund appropriations for transit , plus the $75M in funding from Act 3.
Distribution of Funding: The funds in the Public Transportation Trust Fund will be distributed approximately as follows:
* This represents a $250M increase over their current operating funding
** Initially this allocation will consist of the proceeds of Commonwealth capital bonds which will be supplemented by $50M from the TPC in FY2007-08, in FY2008-09 this will be supplemented with $100M from TPC, in FY2009-10 with $150M, and in FY2010-11 forward FY2011-2012 increased by 2.5% annually
*** PADOT is authorized to spend up to $50M a year on matching funds for Federal New Start programs.
Roads and Bridges Provisions
The Motor License Fund is the central repository for the taxes and fees that have been placed on gasoline, diesel fuel, alternative fuels, Motor Carrier Road Tax, Vehicle Registration and titling, driver licenses, taxes on oil franchise companies, liquid and alternative fuels, fees received from other states, and vehicle code fines.
The official Motor License Fund revenue estimate was $2.322 billion for the 06-07 fiscal year. The actual revenue for the 2006-07 fiscal year was $2.295 billion. Prior year lapses increased from $58 million in 2006-07 to $76.13 million in the 07-08 fiscal year.
The 2007-08 budget proposals for state highway and bridge maintenance provides $900 million under the “Highway Maintenance” heading and cited in PennDot budget proposal documents (E40.15). Highway Maintenance programs under this broad heading of “Highway Maintenance” include “Smoother Road and Priority Bridges”, “Highway Maintenance” is driven out to the counties by formulae on a ten year basis. The “Bridge Preservation program” will receive $18 million of the $900 million.
The FY 2007-08 budget proposal provides $581.16 million in state funds for Highway Construction. In the 06-07 fiscal year $613 million was appropriated for highway construction. The final budget’s level of funding for the 07-08 fiscal year reflected the proposed level of funding in the Governor’s budget. Under the umbrella heading of Highway Construction are programs such as: “Highway and Safety Improvements”, “Highway Capital Projects,” “Security Walls”, Highway Capital Projects, (EA) “Highway Bridge Projects (EA)” and the “Bridge program” (EA). These funds will be used to begin construction and reconstruction work on interstates and state highways that contribute to the Commonwealth’s economy and provide mobility for its people. With the appropriated level of funding for Highway Construction 25 miles of new highway will be constructed, 75 miles of Interstate highway restored and 232 bridges repaired or replaced (without $450 million). A portion of the $450 million for the 07-08 fiscal year found in Hb1590 will find its way to Highway Construction especially for deficient bridges.
The appropriation changes for the Attorney General, Auditor General and State Treasurer are listed below:
The Commonwealth’s General Fund total expenditures are projected to grow by $843 million or 3.2%, while DPW’s General Fund spending will grow by $340 million or 3.7%, which is in line with the Commonwealth’s overall budget growth.
Despite constrained general fund spending, the Department’s budget still contains expansion in program spending and does not include any client or service reductions in the Medical Assistance (MA) program.
The most significant issues in the department relates to Medical Assistance. This is part of a NATIONAL TREND. Caseloads are increasing due to a growing elderly population. Pennsylvania has one of the highest elderly population across the United States and the largest number of persons over 85. In addition, there is a growing trend by employers to cut back on employer sponsored health insurance, particularly for low wage workers.
Medical Assistance Appropriations
(numbers are in thousands)
FY 06/07 FY 07/08 Difference
Outpatient $671,472 $593,992 ($77,480)
Inpatient $513,020 $468,589 ($44,431)
Capitation $2,672,635 $2,715,022 $42,387
LTC $695,279 $762,585 $67,306
Medicare Part D $338,500 $351,008 $12,508__
Total $4,890,906 $4,891,196 $290
Services for Children
Child Welfare funding will increase from $881 million in 2006-07 to $967 million 2007-08. The primary reason for the $86 million increase is due to approved costs in the county needs-based budgets and the loss of available federal TANF funds.
In 2007-08, the TANF Child Welfare Transition appropriation will be restored to $20 million, which is $25 million less than the current year funding level. The phase-out of the TANF Transition funds was part of an initiative the Administration proposed in the 2005-06 budget.
The Child Care Services appropriation has received an additional $37.2 million over FY 2006/2007. Approximately one-half of the increase will be used for the Early Education and Care Initiative to provide subsidized child care services to an additional 400 low – income children and to improve accountability for children’s early learning experiences in Keystone Stars program.
A new appropriation, Child Care Assistance, contains $215.4 million for FY 07/08. These funds were transferred from the Cash Grants appropriation and are being used to provide quality child care to people currently or formerly receiving TANF. Approximately $28 million of the total funding will be used to maintain the number of funded child care slots and to increase child care provider rates ensuring access to quality care.
Mental Health and Mental Retardation
The Mental Health program will receive a significant increase over FY 06/07. The increase of $38.2million contains a 3% cola and funding for the following:
The Mental Retardation program will also receive a substantial increase under the Governor’s budget: $78.5 million or 9.9% for Community Mental Retardation Services and nearly $16.6 million or 16.2% more for Early Intervention. The expansion in Community Mental Retardation will provide six month funding for the following:
In addition to the service expansion above, 800 special education graduates will receive daytime activities.
The Governor’s final budget includes $9.9 million for Autism Intervention and Services, an increase of $7 million over the current year. The additional funding will provide resources necessary for client intake, assessment and eligibility determination, and funding for provider monitoring and rate setting.
Early Intervention appropriation includes expanded services for 2,690 additional children.
Other Social Programs
The budget provides substantial increases in appropriations for Services to Persons with Disabilities (16.8 million) and Attendant Care ($17.2 million) in the General Fund as well as Home and Community Based Services in the Tobacco Fund.
$2.9 million has been provided in the Persons with Disabilities appropriation to provide services to an additional 405 persons.
$3.7 million will provide Attendant Care to an additional 595 individuals.
The Human Services Development fund received $35 million, an additional $1.3 million over the Governor’s February budget proposal. The additional $1.3 million in State funds will be used to offset the loss of Intergovernmental transfer (IGT) funds.
The final budget provides for a 3% COLA for the following:
The final budget provides for a 2% COLA for the following:
The amount appropriated for Cash Grants in 2007-08 is significantly less than the amount available for the current year. The reduction of $202.8 million includes a $157 million decrease due to the transfer of child care funding to the new child care assistance appropriation and $10 million due to caseload reductions from the current year.
Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo