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On June 30, the state constitutional deadline for a budget, the legislature sent Governor Wolf a $32 billion spending plan to fund the 2017–18 fiscal year.  On July 10, the deadline for the Governor to accept or veto the spending plan, he allowed the budget to become law without his signature absent a revenue package.

For Pennsylvania’s hospital community, Harrisburg recognized the important partnership between government and hospital facilities for the care and services they provide in addition to job creation and economic contributions.  The 2017–18 spending plan did not reduce supplemental Medical Assistance payments for hospital obstetric and neonatal, burn, and trauma services and also kept funding for critical access hospitals level.

However, the current situation still leaves Harrisburg lawmakers trying to find ways to fund the approved spending plan and fix a roughly $2 billion budget deficit from last fiscal year. Absent any broad-based tax increases or other significant new revenue, Harrisburg lawmakers are forced to consider one-time funding options and other creative ways to fill in the gaps. This includes borrowing against the Tobacco Settlement Fund.

HAP will remain vigilant in ensuring that Pennsylvania’s hospital community is heard as funding sources are being considered and deliberated. Pennsylvania’s hospital community is a core government function and valuable partnership benefiting the entire commonwealth.

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