Thank you. Your advocacy made all the difference this year.
Pennsylvania's 2022-23 General Fund budget is finally in the books, having been enacted one week after the official June 30 deadline. The $45.2 billion spending plan represents a 2.9% increase in state spending over the previous fiscal year.
The wide-ranging budget, made possible by higher-than-expected revenues that led to a multibillion-dollar surplus, includes some extra funding for human services providers who assist individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families, and more money for mental health services.
Despite record surpluses, the administration and lawmakers still negotiated a spending plan that keeps many other broader budget initiatives flat-lined.
Although some of our line-item increases were less than requested, and even though direct payments for workforce issues are limited, the funding boosts we did receive will help human service providers that have faced chronic underfunding for years.
This much is clear: None of the modest success we achieved would have been possible without you.
Over the last five months, you helped our coalition deliver 8,296 messages directly to members of the General Assembly and the administration, plus another 706 social media hits tagging representatives and senators. Your engagement was evident from the start, as our social media platforms exploded and continue to grow.
All of this is on top of the phone calls you made to legislative offices, the letters you wrote to your local papers, and the events you attended in your community and even at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
The people we serve, their families, and their providers of care were seen and heard.
Lawmakers are more informed than ever. They know who we are, and they are coming to understand our issues and appreciate how important they are to our communities.
That education process will continue, because our advocacy doesn’t end when the budget bill is signed. It’s a sustained effort that we undertake each and every day on behalf of those who rely on us --- individuals with disabilities and mental health needs and their families.
Make no mistake about it: This small success is a sign of bigger things to come.
Thank you for all you did, for all you continue to do, and for your continued support and engagement. Your support made the difference.