Watch Governor Josh Shapiro Deliver His 2023 Budget Address
What are Governor Josh Shapiro’s priorities for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this year?
As any employer will tell you, the foundation of our economy is our workforce, our people —and we need to give people a fair shot.That’s why Governor Shapiro signed an Executive Order on his first day in office announcing that 92 percent of state government jobs do not require a college degree. Every resident and every worker should have the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed.
We can make that a reality in Pennsylvania.
Worker shortages are one of the biggest challenges our Commonwealth must address in the years ahead in order to be competitive and have safe, healthy communities. 1 in 4 nursing jobs in Pennsylvania are unfilled. We’re short more than 1,200 municipal police officers, and we know we don’t have enough teachers, with hundreds of unfilled positions in our public schools.
Governor Shapiro knows we have to make it easier to become a trooper, a police officer, a nurse, or a teacher — and that’s exactly what he’s proposing we do.
For anyone who earns a new license or certification in one of those three fields, or for anyone who has a license and decides to move to Pennsylvania for work, Governor Shapiro is proposing to put up to 2,500 dollars back in their pocket every year for up to 3 years through a refundable tax credit.But workforce development can start in our schools and bring vo-tech into the classroom to give more students the opportunity to pursue a job in the trades — and give them a fast-track to a good-paying, stable job.
Governor Shapiro has a comprehensive plan to invest in apprenticeship programs, expand vo-tech, and bring career and technical education back to our classrooms.
Governor Shapiro’s budget invests in our students and our workers’ success — expanding our workers and investing in our future.
Every Pennsylvanian deserves to be safe and feel safe — but for too many, our communities feel anything but safe.That’s why Governor Shapiro’s first budget invests in ensuring our police departments are well-staffed, well-funded, and well-equipped — as well as violence prevention and community-based solutions.
It’s critically important that as we hire more police, and that they be properly trained. For many, especially in our rural communities, the Pennsylvania State Police serve as local law enforcement.
We need more dedicated law enforcement officers in service — so Governor Shapiro’s budget proposes enough funding for 4 new cadet classes of the Pennsylvania State Police next year. That’s nearly 400 new troopers who will protect and serve our Commonwealth.
And, he’s taking a step further to ensure PSP has sustainable funding well into the future.
Years ago, in 1984, the Pennsylvania State Police began getting their funding out of the Motor License Fund. It immediately set up a conflict between infrastructure funding and public safety, as it takes billions of dollars away from our roads and bridges.
This budget creates the Public Safety and Protection Fund – the PSP fund – which will be a dedicated funding source for the State Police that will reduce our reliance on gas taxes by 100 million dollars each year, for the next 5 years.
The men and women of law enforcement get certainty that their funding will be protected for the long-term, and the Commonwealth gets more money to invest in infrastructure. It’s a win-win.Building safe communities also means supporting our fire fighters and first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Governor Shapiro’s budget invests $36 million in new money for equipment, training, and salaries to support and grow their ranks — but the Commonwealth can’t do this work alone. Local municipal governments and county governments are on the frontlines of the effort to keep folks safe, and we must ensure they have the resources they need.
Since 2016, as calls have gotten more complex and staffing shortages more acute, the cost of running our 911 dispatch system — which is run by our counties — has gone up 23 percent, while the state funding dedicated to supporting these systems has remained flat.
This budget recognizes the challenges counties and 911 dispatchers face, and invests over $50 million in that system and ties that funding source to the cost of living so funding will keep up with rising costs.
Making the critical investments for the people of Pennsylvania starts by lowering costs.Too many Pennsylvanians are being crushed under a mountain of rising prices, most of which are out of their control — but there are commonsense solutions we can implement to take some of that burden off their shoulders.
That’s why Governor Shapiro is calling to eliminate the state cell phone tax.
In today’s world, practically everyone has a cell phone – and being connected to the rest of the world is critical to economic stability, safety, family, and success. But the outdated and expensive cell phone tax is taking too much out of Pennsylvanians’ pockets.
By eliminating the cell phone tax, we will save Pennsylvanians 124 million dollars every year.
Second, Governor Shapiro’s budget expands Pennsylvania’s Property Tax Rent Rebate Program for our seniors and for disabled Pennsylvanians. The program gives a rebate to low-income renters and homeowners every single year, putting money back in their pockets so they can stay in their homes.
But it’s been 17 years since Pennsylvania took a look at what seniors actually need to get by, and it’s time for the Commonwealth to catch up.
Governor Shapiro’s budget invests in a significant expansion in the Property Tax Rent Rebate.
His proposal raises the maximum rebate for seniors from $650 to $1000 dollars, and increases the income cap for renters and homeowners to $45,000 per year. It also ties that cap to increases in the cost of living. Under this plan, nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians will qualify and many of the 400,000 seniors who already qualify will see their rebates nearly double.In a nutshell, this would nearly double the number of seniors who qualify for relief, as well as the amount they receive to help them stay in the homes.
We need to lower costs for families, seniors, those who are disabled, and folks who are struggling to stay in their homes — but we also need to lower costs for businesses, so that we can create more jobs, hire more workers, and pay them a higher wage.
Pennsylvania used to have the second highest business taxes in the nation – making it too difficult for companies to grow and succeed and more challenging for us to sell the Commonwealth.
Governor Shapiro is sending a different message — and proposing to not only continue the Corporate Net Income Tax cuts began by his predecessor, but to speed them up.
Governor Josh Shapiro’s Budget Tracker
Governor’s Budget Address
Instead of playing politics as usual, Governor Shapiro is encouraging members of the Legislature to show the people of Pennsylvania that we’re up to the task they’ve entrusted us with. Over the next few months, Governor Shapiro will bring legislators from across the aisle around the table, and get to work on commonsense solutions to their problems.