Pennsylvania budget becomes law despite stalemate

July 27, 2017

On July 11, without Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature, Pennsylvania’s budget (HB 218) for FY 2018 became law. State lawmakers, however, are still in the midst of a stalemate over how to pay for a nearly $32 billion budget. While Wolf and other Democratic leaders prefer increasing revenue through tax reform, Republican leaders are focusing on other alternatives including a bond effort and expansions of gambling to address the over $2 billion shortfall.

The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will receive $16.3 million (a decrease of 9.9 percent from FY 2017) in state appropriations for general government operations  to serve as the state’s primary economic development organization. To support the state’s innovation economy, the budget would appropriate funding to several tech-based economic initiatives in FY 2018 including:

  • $14.5 million to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority Fund with no less than 80 percent provided to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners;
  • $12 million in new state funding for Manufacturing PA – a new partnership between DCED, research institutions, community colleges, and other training providers to support growth of the state’s manufacturing sector;
  • $9.9 million for the Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) program to encourage regional coordination in economic development efforts;
  • $3 million to support the Pennsylvania Life Sciences Greenhouse Initiative, which supports three regionally based organizations in central Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; and,
  • $1.8 million for the Pennsylvania Industry Partnerships program that enables companies in the same industry cluster to identify common skill needs and develop training programs to meet those needs.
Pennsylvaniastate budgets