AG ONE Newsletter June 30, 2017

HOUSE CONCURS WITH SENATE TO PASS AMENDED HOUSE BILL 218

Following is a comparison between what Governor Wolf originally proposed, the original House Bill 218, and today’s State Budget House Bill 218.  If you are a policy wonk, it is quite the read.  Note:  The PA Department of Agriculture budget begins on Page 228 and ends on Page 234.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2017&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=0218

PA Department of Agriculture

Budget Item                                       Governor                   HB 218            House Bill 218 

General Government Operations       31.612 million            29,557 million             31.110 million

Centers for Excellence                        0                                 1.029 million              1.331 million

Food Market Coupons                         2.079 million              2.079 million               2.079 million

Ag Research                                        0                                 0                            1,687 million

Ag Promotion, Education, Exports      0                                 0                                  303,000

Hardwoods Research & Promotion    0                                 328,000                          428,000

Livestock Show                                    0                                 0                              215,000

Open Dairy Show                                0                                 0                               215,000

Youth Shows                                        154,000                      131,000                    169,000

Food Purchases                                   19.188 million             19.188 million             19.188 million
NOTE:  The 6/30/17 version includes 1.0 million for PA Agricultural Surplus Program.

Transfer Nutrient Fund                       2.714 million               2.307 million               2.714 million

Transfer Conservation Districts          869,000                       739,000                       869,000

Land Scrip (PSU Ag Research/Ext.)     51.813 million             51.813 million             52.313 million

PA Preferred                                       605,000                      514,000                    605,000

UPenn Vet School                               0                                 0                              30 million

Other components of this State Budget affecting Agriculture are:

  • Center for Rural PA (a legislative research body)  884,000
  • Food Marketing & Research  494,000
  • PDA Weights & Measures 728 million
  • State Conservation Commission (dirt and gravel roads) 0 million
  • Milk Marketing Board 840 million
  • County Fairs 0 million
  • Farm Show 0 million

(NOTE:  This does not have anything to do with Governor Wolf’s proposal to in effect take out a second mortgage of the Farm Show Complex.)

  • Animal Health Commission 350 million
  • Veterinary Laboratory System 309 million

In preparation for the final votes on the State Budget, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ staff prepared fiscal notes to examine appropriations for both the General Fund and selected special funds.

Fund                            Fiscal Year 2016-17     Fiscal Year 2017-18 beginning July 1, 2017

General Fund              31.318 billion             31.380 billion, an increase of 61.6 million

Federal Funds             26.447 million            26.602 million, an increase of $154.558 million

NOTE:  The Federal Fiscal Year begins October 1, 2017 and actions by the U.S. Congress could change this number.

Tobacco Settlement  136.779 million          118.529 million, a decrease of 55.3 million

NOTE:  Part of the Fiscal Code Budget that will be voted on by the General Assembly later may borrow ahead from anticipated revenues of the Tobacco Settlement Fund through a bond issue.

PA Racehorse             30.659 million           19.659 million, a decrease of 11 million                  

Development Restricted Account

State Racing Fund      20.511 million            24.138 million, an increase of 3.627 million

Senator Tom Killion (R-Delaware) issued this commentary shortly after the Senate sent the amended House Bill 218 back to the House for concurrence.

Today the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget. House Bill 218 provides for a state budget of $32 billion which represents a 0.2% increase over the previous year and contains investments in key budget area like basic education, Pre-K education programs, and special education. The FY 2017-18 budget strikes a balance between supporting state priorities like education and healthcare while still dealing with significant fiscal challenges like meeting staggering state pension obligations. The FY 2017-18 contains a $100 million increase for basic education funding, a $25 million increase for special education funding, and restores $30 million for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Activities which supports the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square.