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Overview of Proposed Budget

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The Governor continues to hold firm in his campaign pledge to not increase taxes.  As a result of depressed economy and lower than projected tax revenue for the current fiscal year, Departments were again asked to make cuts and state spending was reduced to $20 million below last year’s spending.  DPW Secretary Gary Alexander indicated they were forced to make cuts in order to preserve “core” benefits for the needy.  He indicated that are 5.8 million working people in PA and 2.7 million are receiving a public subsidy.


One of the more controversial aspects of the budget is a proposal to reduce funding for the below listed programs by 20% and then roll those items into the Human Services Development Fund (HSDF) Block Grant program for discretionary use by counties.



 (Dollar Amounts in Thousands)




Proposed Block Grant Appropriations


80% 20%
    To HSDF Reduction
Mental Health Services - Community Programs $550,469 $440,376 $110,093
Intellectual Disabilities - Community Base Program $144,974 $115,979 $  28,995
County Child Welfare Special Grants $  48,533 $  38,826 $    9,707
Behavioral Health Services $  47,908 $  38,326 $    9,582
Homeless Assistance Program $  20,551 $  16,441 $    4,110
Human Services Development Fund (HSDF) $  14,956 $  11,965 $    2,991
Human Services Development Fund (HSDF) $  14,727 $  11,782 $    2,945


$842,118 $673,695 $168,423


Total State budget is $63.3 billion; DPW’s budget is $27.1 billion; Medical Assistance is $18.7%; Mental Health is 1.5% of DPW’s budget


Other budget proposals include:

  •   $1.7M to create an Adult Protective Services (APS) System

  •   Elimination of the cash benefit in the General Assistance program, change in benefit package and imposition of work requirements

  •   Asset testing to qualify for food stamps

  •   4.8% cut to autism services; tiered copayments for “loophole” parents

  •   Increased copays and the elimination of the cap on copays

  •   Intensive review and case management of high-cost consumers

  •   Copayments for the Medical Assistance Transportation program

  •   5.8% cut to autism services; tiered copayments for parents

  •   Increased copays for services; elimination of cap on copays

  •   Statewide expansion of HealthCHOICES (physical health)


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