By: David G. Greineder, IOM, ABC Pennsylvania Director of Government Affairs
The governor released his eighth and final budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. He is looking to spend nearly $44 billion, which is approximately $5 billion over last year. As in past years, the governor’s budget address highlighted various policy initiatives, including increasing the minimum wage. While there are no broad-based tax increases proposed, the governor wants to “spend down” the remaining federal stimulus dollars held in reserves to cover the increase.
Republican leaders have different ideas and believe exhausting federal dollars to pay for one year’s worth of spending will lead to future deficits. Republicans are also reviewing economic forecasts and are concerned about a recession. If a recession were to happen, Republicans prefer to craft a modest budget that balances program needs with growing the Rainy Day Fund.
The legislature is on their usual “budget recess” to allow the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to hold hearings on the governor’s budget. Afterwards, top leaders in the administration and General Assembly will begin the negotiations, which usually takes us to the end of the fiscal year – June 30. The fall session, beginning in late-September, is not expected to contain many session days, due to the election calendar and winding down the two-year session.
Which brings us to what ABC will be doing in the meantime. As we look to the rest of this year, ABC of Pennsylvania will be collaborating with chapters to develop a new and fresh legislative agenda for 2023-24. We are looking for your input on what ABC should advocate for in Harrisburg. Knowing the margins will be tight, and we may still have a divided government, we need to be realistic in what we push for, but also be bold in our “wish list.”
- What are BIG IMPACT policy issues that ABC can LEAD and WIN on?
- What do you want ABC to be KNOWN for?
- What issues can be bipartisan and address industry challenges broadly?
- What issues will energize our grassroots advocates?
- How can we keep it simple?
If you have ideas, please send them my way to firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter what happens in November, we need everyone to be a part of the process to help us shape our agenda. Thank you for being a part of this great association.
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Posted February 22, 2022