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PRINTER'S NO. 1579
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
1129
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY STEFANO, VULAKOVICH, VANCE, RAFFERTY, GREENLEAF,
WAGNER, WHITE, CORMAN, MENSCH AND VOGEL, MARCH 7, 2016
REFERRED TO APPROPRIATIONS, MARCH 7, 2016
AN ACT
Prohibiting certain payments from the State Treasury and certain
activities of Commonwealth departments during a budget
impasse; establishing the Budget Impasse Critical Services
Fund; and providing for disbursements from the fund and other
special funds during a budget impasse.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Commonwealth
Budget Impasse Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Budget impasse." The time period, during any fiscal year of
the Commonwealth, in which a General Appropriation Act for that
fiscal year has not been enacted into law.
"Commonwealth department." The executive branch and the
legislative branch of the Commonwealth.
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"Critical services." Any of the following programs that
received an appropriation from the Commonwealth during the
fiscal year prior to a budget impasse:
(1) In the Department of Agriculture:
(i) State grants to counties to help needy persons
purchase food, including the Pennsylvania Agriculture
Surplus System Program, the Emergency Food Assistance
Development Program and distributing TEFAP commodities to
counties.
(ii) Farmers food market coupons.
(2) In the Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources:
(i) State parks operations.
(ii) Forest pest management.
(iii) Payment of annual fixed charges in lieu of
taxes to counties and townships on land acquired for
water conservation and flood control.
(iv) Payment of annual fixed charges in lieu of
taxes to political subdivisions for school districts on
lands acquired by the Commonwealth for Project 70.
(v) Payment of annual fixed charges in lieu of taxes
to counties, school districts and townships on forest
lands.
(vi) Payment of annual fixed charges in lieu of
taxes to counties, school districts and local
municipalities on State park lands.
(3) In the Department of Corrections:
(i) State correctional institutions.
(ii) Inmate medical care.
(iii) Payments for grants-in-aid to counties for
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providing improved probation services.
(4) In the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs:
(i) Assistance to Drug and Alcohol Programs.
(ii) (Reserved).
(5) In the Department of Education:
(i) Programs of education and training at youth
development centers and the monitoring of programs of
education and training provided to incarcerated
juveniles.
(ii) Basic education funding to school districts.
(iii) Ready to Learn Block Grant.
(iv) Pre-K Counts Program.
(v) Head Start Supplemental Assistance.
(vi) Career and technical education.
(vii) Payments on account of pupil transportation.
(viii) Payments on account of nonpublic and charter
school transportation.
(ix) Payments on account of special education of
exceptional children.
(x) Payments for early intervention services.
(xi) Payment for tuition to school districts
providing education to nonresident orphaned children
placed in private homes by the court and nonresident
inmates of children's institutions.
(xii) Payments to Pennsylvania Charter Schools for
the Deaf and Blind.
(xiii) Special education-approved private schools.
(xiv) Grants to school districts to assist in
meeting Federal matching requirements for grants received
under the Federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (Public Law
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89-642, 42 U.S.C. § 1771 et seq.) and to aid in providing
a food program for needy children.
(xv) Payment for the Commonwealth's share of Federal
Social Security taxes for public school employees.
(xvi) Payment of required contribution for public
school employees' retirement.
(xvii) Subsidy to public libraries.
(xviii) Payment of approved operating expenses of
community colleges.
(xix) Transfer from the General Fund to the
Community College Capital Fund.
(6) In the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency:
(i) Payment of education assistance grants.
(ii) (Reserved).
(7) In the Department of Health:
(i) State health care centers.
(ii) Reimbursement to school districts on account of
health services.
(iii) Maintenance of local health departments.
(iv) Renal dialysis services.
(8) In the Department of Human Services:
(i) Statewide operations related to county
administration of public assistance and medical
assistance programs.
(ii) County assistance operations related to the
administration of public assistance and medical
assistance programs.
(iii) Mental health services, including grants to
counties or other county-based human services included
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under the Human Services Block Grant Pilot Program,
exclusive of capital improvements.
(iv) Intellectual Disabilities - State Centers.
(v) Supplemental grants to the aged, blind and
disabled.
(vi) Primary health care and preventive services for
eligible Medical Assistance recipients in the fee-for-
service delivery system.
(vii) Medical assistance payments - capitation
plans, for provision of outpatient services and inpatient
hospital services to eligible persons enrolled in an
approved capitation plan.
(viii) Medical assistance payments - obstetrics and
neonatal services.
(ix) Long-term care.
(x) Home-based and community-based services.
(xi) Long-term care - managed care.
(xii) Medical Assistance - hospital-based burn
centers.
(xiii) Medical Assistance - Critical Access
Hospitals.
(xiv) Medical Assistance - Trauma Centers.
(xv) Medical Assistance payments to academic
centers.
(xvi) Medical Assistance - transportation.
(xvii) Behavioral health services or other county-
based human services covered under the Human Services
Block Grant Pilot Program.
(xviii) Intellectual disabilities - intermediate
care facilities.
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(xix) Intellectual disabilities - community base
programs, including grants to counties for
noninstitutional programs, or other county-based human
services included under the Human Services Block Grant
Pilot Program, exclusive of capital improvements.
(xx) Intellectual Disabilities - community waiver
program.
(xxi) Early Intervention Services.
(xxii) Services to persons with autism spectrum
disorders, including oversight, support services and
provider training.
(xxiii) Payment and services to counties for
children and youth programs and for the care of
delinquent and dependent children, or other county-based
human services included under the Human Services Block
Grant Pilot Program.
(xxiv) Community-based family centers.
(xxv) Child-care Services.
(xxvi) Child-Care Assistance Program.
(xxvii) Nurse Family Partnership Program.
(xxviii) Domestic violence programs.
(xxix) Rape crisis programs.
(xxx) Breast cancer screening.
(xxxi) Provision of services to the homeless or
other county-based human services included under the
Human Services Block Grant Program.
(xxxii) Services to persons with disabilities.
(xxxiii) Medical Assistance - Attendant Care.
(xxxiv) Medical Assistance - workers with
disabilities.
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(xxxv) Children's Health Insurance.
(9) In the Department of Labor and Industry:
(i) Occupational and industrial safety.
(ii) Occupational disease payments.
(iii) Centers for independent living, including
independent living services purchased by Office of
Vocational Rehabilitation District Offices.
(10) In the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs:
(i) Operation and maintenance of veterans homes.
(ii) Pensions for veterans blinded through service-
connected injuries or disease.
(iii) Pensions for amputee and paralyzed veterans as
required by 51 Pa.C.S. § 7702 (relating to amputee and
paralyzed veteran's pension).
(iv) Disabled American veterans' transportation.
(v) Veterans outreach services.
(11) In the Department of Revenue:
(i) For the distribution of Public Utility Realty
Tax.
(ii) (Reserved).
(12) In the Pennsylvania State Police:
(i) Automated Fingerprint Identification System
(AFIS).
(ii) Municipal Police Training Grants.
(iii) Activities associated with the purchase of
firearms by individuals.
"Critical services provider." An entity that provides
critical services to the Commonwealth under a program authorized
by law and continues to provide the critical services during a
budget impasse.
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"Emergency travel." Travel necessary to ensure the proper
conduct of Commonwealth business and provision of services,
during an officially declared state of emergency.
"Fund." The Budget Impasse Critical Services Fund
established under this act.
"Special fund." Any of the following funds in the State
Treasury:
(1) The Motor License Fund.
(2) The State Lottery Fund.
(3) The Tobacco Settlement Fund.
Section 3. Prohibitions during budget impasse.
During a budget impasse the following shall apply:
(1) The State Treasurer may not approve or advance, from
any fund in the State Treasury, the disbursement of money to
a Commonwealth department for the payment of salaries or
administrative expenses of the Commonwealth department except
as required by Federal law or court order. If required by
Federal law or court order, the Commonwealth department must
document the source of the Federal law in writing to the
State Treasurer prior to requesting the disbursement.
(2) No public official or employee of a Commonwealth
department may, on behalf of a Commonwealth agency, engage in
travel in the performance of the official duties of the
public official or employee, except for travel in the case of
an unforeseeable emergency.
(3) No member of the Senate or House of Representatives
may earn or be entitled to receive a per diem and no per diem
shall be available retroactively to cover the budget impasse.
Expenses accrued during the time period shall not be eligible
for reimbursement, and shall not be submitted retroactively
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to cover the budget impasse.
(4) No member of the Senate or House of Representatives
may produce or distribute communication materials, the
expense of which the Commonwealth would be legally obligated
to pay.
(5) Publicly funded and maintained Internet websites and
social media platforms of the General Assembly and the
executive branch shall be made inaccessible to the public,
except when necessary to comply with statutory or regulatory
requirements or for the dissemination of information
necessary for public safety.
Section 4. Budget Impasse Critical Services Fund.
(a) Establishment.--The Budget Impasse Critical Services
Fund is established in the State Treasury. The money in the fund
is appropriated on a continuing basis to the Office of the
Budget for disbursement as specified in subsection (d).
(b) Source of funding.--The fund shall receive money during
a budget impasse as provided in subsection (c).
(c) Transfer from General Fund.--
(1) No later than July 15 during a budget impasse, the
Office of the Budget shall determine the aggregate amount of
money paid from the General Fund in the prior fiscal year for
critical services.
(2) After making the determination, the Office of the
Budget shall instruct the State Treasurer to transfer from
the General Fund to the fund an amount equal to 8.33% of the
aggregate amount by the fifteenth day of each month in which
the budget impasse continues.
(d) Disbursements from fund.--
(1) During each month in which a budget impasse exists,
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the State Treasurer shall disburse to each critical services
provider 8.33% of the amount received by the critical
services provider in the prior fiscal year, provided that the
critical services provider remains eligible to receive at
least the same amount of funding for the provision of the
critical services in the current fiscal year.
(2) After a budget impasse ceases to exist in a fiscal
year, the amount received by a critical services provider
under paragraph (1) shall be reconciled against the amount
the critical services provider is otherwise entitled to
receive for the provisions of the critical services during
the fiscal year.
Section 5. Disbursements from special funds.
(a) General rule.--Money in a special fund is hereby
appropriated on a continuing basis during a budget impasse in
such amounts as necessary to make the same disbursements from
the same line items as made during the prior fiscal year.
(b) Method of making disbursements.--
(1) During each month in which a budget impasse exists,
the State Treasurer shall disburse from the special fund
8.33% of the amount disbursed in the prior fiscal year,
provided that the recipients of the disbursements are
eligible to receive at least the same amount in the current
fiscal year.
(2) After a budget impasse ceases to exist in a fiscal
year, the amount disbursed under paragraph (1) shall be
reconciled against the amount the recipients are otherwise
entitled to receive during the fiscal year.
Section 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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