Status quo

Although it is long overdue, Pennsylvania now has a state budget with a related Fiscal Code in place for the 2015-16 fiscal year, but neither of them has the blessing of Governor Wolf who left them go into effect without his signature. Initially, he vetoed both of them. There are no new state taxes, and there is an additional $200 million in state-aid for the public schools, but funding for the local school districts remains well below the 50% level, which means that the wealthy districts will continue to excel and the poorer ones will lag with property and other school taxes that are much too high.

Additionally, $2.5 billion in borrowing for school construction costs was also approved. This postpones increasing taxes now, but increases new debt with additional costs for another budget sometime in the future.

The 2015-16 Pennsylvania budget is too little, too late and only maintains the status quo.

David L. Faust