It’s time — already — for budget discussions in Pennsylvania 

January 31 — Time is quickly rolling around to the budget address in Pennsylvania. 

Governor Josh Shapiro will be presenting the budget next week. 

In the meantime, he’s unveiling a few of the details we could see. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “We talked last week about what he wants to do with consolidating PASSHE and community colleges in Pennsylvania, making tuition adjustments. Yesterday he teased that part of his budget address will include a 10 year economic development plan for Pennsylvania, a laundry list of things related to career readiness programs, regional economic hubs, money for development of Main Street programs in Pennsylvania. The one that really jumped out to me that I’m interested in hearing more about, programs to retain young people who are leaving the state more and more. That’s been a problem for decades. No one can figure it out. He gave no details on any of this. But these are things that will be in next week’s budget address.”

The address will be February 6. 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I’m concerned a little bit with what he said about how we have to bring together our private and public sectors. I don’t want the government involved with the private sector that much. I think we’re getting into trouble because we have too much government control over our private sector because they do make these partnerships that maybe crowd out some of the smaller players or keep others from succeeding. I’m not crazy about that part of it.”

Barkdoll said, “Demographers call this phenomenon the brain drain. That’s a term that you’ve seen over the years, this idea that you have bright young people that attend your local high school, maybe they go then to a Pennsylvania University. The problem is they leave the state never to return again. It’s been a very vexing issue. Long term, of course, it’s a big economic problem. It’s not unique to Pennsylvania, many other states have the same problem. I don’t know what the solution is. There were some numbers tied to this announcement yesterday and frankly, they look really small to me. I think the Career Readiness Program, he’s asking for $2 million. Well, that’s a lot of money, but it’s in the context of a $45 billion state budget. So again, I’ll be curious next week to see more details on all of these programs.”