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.
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.