2015-16 State Budget

Budget News

Senate Democrats React to Budget Line-Item Veto

Harrisburg – Dec. 29, 2015 – Senate Democrats provided the following reaction to Gov. Tom Wolf’s line-item veto of a Republican budget plan. The governor released six months of emergency funding for schools and human service programs, or $23.39 billion of the House...

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Senate Approves General Fund Budget

Harrisburg – Dec. 7, 2015 –The Senate approved a $30.5 billion General Fund budget that provides for a historic increase in school funding, the restoration of job creation and human service program funds, and long-term fiscal stability without a broad-based tax...

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Costa Comments of Announcement of State Budget Framework

Harrisburg - Nov. 10, 2015 - Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said today that he was pleased that a framework for the 2015-16 state General Fund budget has been crafted and that significant progress has been made toward a comprehensive agreement. Costa...

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Costa Condemns Republican Stopgap Budget

Harrisburg – Sept. 18, 2015 – Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today condemned the proposed four-month $11.22 billion Republican stopgap budget as a “political ploy” designed to thwart negotiations on a comprehensive budget agreement. “The Senate...

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Senate Democrats Hail New Basic Education Funding Formula

Harrisburg, June 18, 2015 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Sens. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/Perry) who serve as members of the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) today hailed the new proposed statewide education funding formula as a responsible, predicable and equitable approach that would improve education for all students.

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Budget Hearing Schedule

Hearings are located in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building

Monday, March 16, 2015

9:30 am – Governor’s Office/Governor’s Budget Office/Executive Offices
1:00 pm – Independent Fiscal Office – Economic Outlook & Revenue Overview
3:00 pm – Department of General Services

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

9:30 am – Attorney General 
1:00 pm – Treasury Department 
3:00 pm – Auditor General

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

9:30 am – Judiciary
1:00 pm –  State Police/Homeland Security
3:00 pm – Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs

Thursday, March 19, 2015

9:30 am – Gaming Control Board
1:30 pm – PA State System of Higher Education
3:00 pm – Community Colleges

Monday, March 23, 2015

9:30 am – Public Utility Commission
1:00 pm – SERS/PSERS
3:00 pm – Department of Health

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

9:30 am – Department of Aging
11:00 am – Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
1:00 pm – State Related Universities

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

9:30 am – Department of Environmental Protection
1:00 pm – Department of Corrections/Office of Probation and Parole
3:00 pm – Liquor Control Board

Thursday, March 26, 2015

9:30 am – Department of Human Services
1:00 pm – Department of Community & Economic Development
3:00 pm – Department of State

Monday, March 30, 2015

9:30 am – Department of Education
1:00 pm – Department of Labor & Industry
3:00 pm – Department of Banking & Securities

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

9:30 am – Department of Revenue/Lottery
11:00 am – Historical & Museum Commission
1:00 pm – Department of Transportation
3:00 pm – Department of Agriculture

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

9:30 am – PA Emergency Management Agency
11:00 am – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
1:00 pm – Department of Military and Veteran Affairs
3:00 pm – Department of Insurance

Property Tax Relief Breakdown

Governor Wolf’s Sales Tax Proposal Base Change

The following items and services would remain exempt from Pennsylvania’s sales tax law under Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal.  

  • Food
  • Clothing and Footwear
  • Prescription Drugs and Orthopedic Equipment
  • Gasoline and Motor Fuels
  • Physician & dental services
  • Manufacturing and Processing Equipment
  • Hospitals
  • Tuition (college, vocational training & instruction)
  • Exempt Governmental Units
  • Residential Utilities: Telephone, Electricity, Fuel Oil and Natural Gas
  • Water and Sewage Services
  • Trade-In Value
  • Purely Public Charities
  • Liquor or Malt Beverages Purchased from Bars and Restaurants
  • Common Carriers

The following items and services were previously exempt from Pennsylvania’s sales tax law, but would be subject to it under Wolf’s budget proposal.

  • Candy & Gum
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Non-Prescription Drugs
  • Caskets & Burial Vaults
  • Flags
  • Textbooks
  • Catalogs & Direct Mail Advertising
    • Airline Catering
    • Commission
    • Horses
    • Construction of Memorials
    • Uniform Commercial Code Filing Fees
    • Investment Metal Bullion & Investment Coins
    • Cable Television

SERVICES (Business-to-business purchases of these services will remain exempt from sales tax, in the interest of helping businesses grow.)

  • Transportation
  • Motion Picture and Video Industries
  • Other Financial Investment Activities
  • Real Estate Agent and Broker Services
  • Legal Services
  • Accounting Services
  • Specialized Design Services
  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Advertising Services
  • Other Professional Services
  • Employment Services
  • Business Support Services
  • Travel Arrangement Services
  • Other Support Services
  • Waste Collection
  • Higher Education
  • Home Health Care Services
  • Other Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Social Assistance
  • Performing Arts
  • Spectator Sports
  • Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions
  • Amusement and Recreation Industries
  • Recreational Vehicle Parks and Recreational Camps
  • Personal Care Services
  • Death Care Services
  • Drycleaning and Laundry Services
  • Other Personal Services

Schools that Teach


Providing all children with a quality public education is the cornerstone of Governor Tom Wolf’s “Schools That Teach” strategy to prepare students for good jobs and rebuild the middle class. Governor Wolf’s 2015-2016 proposed budget restores cuts to basic education and increases the state’s share of funding for public education to 50% for the first time in more than 40 years with a commitment to invest $2 billion in public education over the next four years. The governor’s budget also includes a historic $3.8 billion in property tax relief and cuts property taxes by more than 50 percent for the average homeowner. See how your family, your schools, and your community will benefit.

Pennsylvania Department of Education