2016-17 State Budget
On Wednesday, July 13, the fiscal year 2016-17 state budget was finalized, in its entirety, with strong bipartisan support. The legislature successfully passed a general appropriations bill, a tax code, fiscal code, public welfare code and school code in a matter of a few weeks. Governor Tom Wolf signed those bills into law, with the exception being the general appropriations legislation (that bill became law without his signature). The state budget was completed just days after it was due, ending any sort of prolonged budget battle and setting the stage for a limited fall session, followed by the Presidential election.
Prior to the June 30 deadline, the legislature had passed a $31.5 billion dollar budget (the general appropriations bill) but did not yet have the dollars to pay for it. That problem was resolved on July 13 with the General Assembly passing the new revenue package. A new cigarette tax, as well as a tax on digital downloads, and expanded gaming were just some of the revenue drivers employed by the legislature to balance state spending for this fiscal year.
The budget impact on the PHCA membership is as follows:
- In April, the Governor’s Office pulled back the 1% increase that the Governor proposed in his February budget. The legislature followed suit, giving flat funding to nursing home rates.
- The legislature added back the $8 million in MDOI payments, and the program is again funded at $8 million for FY 16-17.
- The FY 16-17 Human Services Code Bill extended the NF Assessment Program and the use of a BAF through June 30, 2019.
The legislature isn’t expected to return to voting session until September. The House will be back on Monday, Sept. 19 and the Senate on Monday, Sept. 26.