The Pennsylvania State Budget Process
The Pennsylvania state budget is the spending blueprint for each fiscal year. It earmarks funds for public schools, highways and job creation. The state budget includes a number of different funding sources including federal funds, the Motor License Fund, the Lottery Fund, and dozens more. Each fund is designed to meet a particular state need. For example, the Lottery Fund pays for services to senior citizens. Your tax dollars and other revenues provide the necessary funds to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians.
The Budget Cycle
The first Tuesday of February each year, the governor unveils his proposed budget request for the upcoming fiscal year. Following the governor's presentation, House and Senate Appropriations Committees in February and March hold public hearings on the budget. Both chambers hear testimony from state agencies. Following the hearings, the chambers introduce a budget bill. House and Senate members may amend the bill if they desire. A Conference Committee meets to iron out any differences be tween House and Senate versions of the budget. Members of the House and Senate vote on this compromise budget. Shortly after final passage, state agencies adjust their spending plans to reflect the funding that the new budget provides. State agencies begin compiling their spending proposals for the next year in early fall each year and in December, the governor gives legislative leaders a mid-year budget report on the status of the General Fund.