Harrisburg, Pa (March 8, 2023) — State Senator Carolyn Comitta issued the following statement in response to Governor Shapiro’s 2023-24 budget proposal:

Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal shows a willingness and desire to work across party lines in a bipartisan and collaborative manner.

The plan makes practical investments to address the real challenges facing communities, families, children, workers, and businesses across Chester County and the Commonwealth.
The governor’s budget proposal addresses:
• Education
• Public Health and Safety
• Economic Opportunity and
• The Environment
This is a strong start to the budget process. I believe it puts us on the right track. Governor Shapiro’s budget plan invests wisely to address the everyday needs of Pennsylvanians today while planning for the uncertainly and challenges of tomorrow.
I look forward to working with all my legislative colleagues to pass a budget that supports and invests in education, public health and safety, economic opportunity, the environment, and more.”
Budget Highlights:

Education: A total $1 billion increase in public education to prepare students and young people for the future in safe, healthy, and effective schools and learning programs.

  • A nearly 8 percent increase in funding for basic education and special education.
  • Investments in childcare and early childhood education
    • $10.4 million for Early Intervention services for children ages 3 to 5.
    • An additional $2.7 million to Head Start programs for workforce investments.
    • $30 million in Pre-K Counts funding to raise the per-child rate.
  • $38.5 million for universal free breakfast for 1.7 million students in public schools.
  • A $60 million increase for funding higher ed institutions, including:
    • $5.1 million for community colleges
    • $11 million for PASSHE
    • Funding increases for state-related universities.
  • $1 million in funding for the Hunger Free Campus Initiative.
  • A tax credit program to attract professionals to careers in teaching, nursing and policing.


Public Health and Safety: Investing in public health, behavioral, health, and public safety and emergency response services.

  • $20 million to begin to restore Mental Health funding with a pathway to $60 million in 2027-28.
  • $17.5 million for an additional 850 individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism or developmental disabilities in the ID Community Living and Consolidated Waiver programs.
  • $2.3 million in new funding to implement strategies to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • $54 million in additional funding for emergency services.
    • An additional $36 million for local fire fighters and EMS providers.
  • $54 million in additional funds and a sustainable source of funding for the 9-1-1 system.
  • $16.4 million for four new state trooper classes, equating to 384 new troopers.
    • $20 million for equipment replacement and upgrades.
  • A sustainable and dedicated source of funding for the Pa State Police that reduces our reliance on the gas tax.
  • Significant investments in crime prevention and victims’ services programs.


Economic Prosperity: Reducing taxes and expanding opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.

  • Eliminating the cell phone tax.
  • Accelerating the reduction of the Corporate Net Income tax.
  • Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 effective January 1, 2024.
  • A $23.8 million investment in Career and Technical Education programs, including:
    • $3.3 million in new funding for technology and equipment upgrades.
    • An additional $4 million to hire teachers and expand programs.
    • A 43% increase in funding for Apprenticeship Training programs.
  • A 60% increase in the Manufacturing Innovation Program, a collaboration between colleges and universities, industrial resource centers and DCED.


The Environment: Supporting and investing in the Constitutional Right of every Pennsylvanian to clean air and pure water.

  • $2.8 million in new funding to support sustainable outdoor management, infrastructure updates, and safety, and a new Office of Outdoor Recreation in DCNR.
  • Doubling the funding (from $56 to $112 million) to maintain and improve state park and forest infrastructure.
  • $4 million for the Clean Water Fund to increase support for safeguarding water resources (instead of relying on increased fee revenue).
  • $5.75 million in new funding to improve permitting, inspections, and air quality monitoring as well as for the implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
  • A total of $663.343 million in RGGI proceeds is slated for the Clean Air Fund in 2023-24. However, Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI is still pending in the courts.