Governor Shapiro Signs 2023-2024 State Budget

Late last week, the State Senate returned to Harrisburg for the purpose of sending the state budget bill to the Governor’s desk. The House had passed the bill by the June 30 deadline, but controversy had erupted over a provision that the Senate Republicans had earlier inserted in the bill that provided $100 million to fund a school voucher program, a long-time goal of Republicans.

The Governor initially agreed with that funding. However, the House Democrats refused to support that provision-citing opposition from teachers and labor unions. When the Governor then announced he would veto that section, the House passed the budget bill. The Senate Repbulicans claimed the Governor had broken a deal and left town without signing the budget bill thus blocking the necessary procedures to get it to the Governor for his signature.

The Senate action last week broke the logjam in part. The bill the Governor signed will allow for the funding of most services (school districts, state agencies, etc.). However, companion bills that allow for funds to be spent for some other specific programs (several are priorities of Democrats) need further negotiation in the fall.