Pennsylvania’s pandemic fiscal Band-Aid falling off

(The Center Square) – The pandemic-era fiscal Band-Aid keeping Pennsylvania’s checkbook balanced has all but fallen off, according to a recent analysis.

The Pew Charitable Trusts said earlier this week Pennsylvania is among the most populous states with a glaring structural budget problem, thanks in part to waning COVID-19 federal support.

The temporary boost meant states spent money and cut taxes at record rates and now face sustainability problems. 

A report compiled by the National Association of State Budget Officers, found Pennsylvania, too, boosted expenditures 16% in 2022, 3.7% in 2023 and 10.2% in the 2024 enacted budget. Only the latter exceeded the national median, by 3.7 percentage points.

Pennsylvania, according to the association’s data, lowered some spending through hiring freezes, staff attrition, pension adjustments and other targeted cuts. Surpluses left over from years prior also supplanted the expenditure growth.

Matthew Knittel, executive director of the Independent Fiscal Office, told The Center Square that
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