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ISSUE SPECIFIC UPDATES
The final month of the budget season has officially begun, and the June 30 budget deadline is quickly approaching. Lawmakers have found themselves in a different situation this year because of better than projected state revenues and $7.3 billion in federal stimulus funds that can be spent over the next three years. While this may seem like an easy budget, the Republican legislative majority and legislative Democrats are already at odds over how the funds should be used. Democrats are calling for a multi-billion-dollar recovery plan, while Republicans want fiscal restraint as the state faces projected future revenue shortfalls. Democrats have proposed two spending plans — the “New Deal for Pennsylvania” from Senate Democrats and the “Pennsylvania Rescue Plan” from the House. Both call for investments in infrastructure, schools, and businesses, and prioritize support for parents and frontline workers. In January, the Independent Fiscal Office released an economic report that predicted Pennsylvania’s General Fund will run structural deficits over the next five years, predicting upwards of $2 billion through 2026.
Lawmakers will return to Harrisburg next week. Between now and the end of the month, there are 12 voting session days scheduled in the state Senate and 14 in the state House. Additional session days may be added to the calendar. As budget negotiations unfold, we will keep you apprised of new developments.
Mitigation Orders Lifted
All businesses, events and venues can return to 100 percent capacity with the lifting of COVID-19 mitigation orders on Monday, May 31.
The current order requiring masks for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals will remain in place until June 28 or when 70 percent of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first.
Individuals are still being required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and stations, per the CDC.
The Department of Health recommends that Pennsylvanians refer to CDC guidance and recommendations regarding ongoing COVID-19 safety measures and procedures. Municipalities, businesses, and school districts may continue implementing stricter mitigation efforts.
(Pictured: PA delegation at the U.S. Capitol during Legislative Conference)
Pennsylvania Chapter, American College of Cardiology