HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro outlined millions of dollars in spending for public safety, including funding for State Troopers.
“This is a moment when we have to believe in people and invest in those on the front lines of teaching our kids and keeping our communities safe and healthy,” said Shapiro.
The Governor highlighted two cadets during his speech and said “policing is a noble profession, and good people want to do it.”
Below is a breakdown of some of Shapiro’s public safety proposals.
Ensuring Access to Effective Emergency Services and Public Safety Resources
• Proposes to extend the 911 surcharge to January 2029 and change the fee from $1.65 to $2.03, while tying to inflation to ensure effective operation and maintenance of the county–operated 911 system for future generations and eliminating the Gross Receipts Tax and the Sales and Use Tax currently imposed on wireless services. This increase of resources for emergency services will supplement the expected $36 million current law increase for EMS and Fire in 2023-24.
• Creates a Public Safety and Protection Fund to sustainably fund the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) while reducing reliance on the Motor License Fund (MLF) by $100 million each year until eliminated in 2027-28. PSP funding will be dedicated from other revenue sources to ensure full funding of their operations
• Provides $16.4 million in funding from the Public Safety and Protection Fund to fund four new trooper cadet classes in 2023-24 and to train 384 new troopers
• Invests $20 million in PSP vehicle and helicopter replacements and equipment upgrades
Combatting Violence and Discrimination and Ensuring the Criminal Justice System Works for All Pennsylvanians
• Includes $105 million in the Commonwealth’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Program within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD)
• Continues to invest $5 million in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program at PCCD
• Commits $479,000 in additional funds to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to responsibly investigate discrimination and strengthen enforcement activities
• Addresses the lack of uniform resources and provides adequate access to competent legal counsel regardless of financial status by investing $10 million through the PCCD and the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee
• Creates a new division program within the Department of Corrections (DOC) that will collaborate with the Board of Pardons to review and revise requested documentation of incarcerated individuals and improve efficiencies throughout the clemency process
• Proposes significant investment of $2 million in the safety and oversight for everyone involved in the parole process
• Ensures individuals on probation receive necessary support to be productive members of the community by investing an additional $4 million in county adult probation and parole services to reduce recidivism