HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — At his final budget address, Governor Tom Wolf highlighted his plan to “protect the most vulnerable” Pennsylvanians in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
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First on the list, Gov. Wolf proposes increasing state funding by just over $91 million to Medical Assistance rates for skilled nursing facility providers beginning Jan. 2023.
Gov. Wolf also proposed:
- a $14 million increase to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for all six veterans’ homes to hire additional staff
- increases to personal care home supplementary payment program funding by $50 million, lifting the monthly payment from $439.30 to $1,351.80
- supporting the behavioral health needs of Pennsylvanians by investing $36.6 million additional funds in county mental health base funds on top of a $75 million in federal funds for recruitment and retention payments to qualifying home and community-based service provider
- investing an additional $15 million in stabilization payments to substance use disorder treatment providers as part of the $55 million in federal funding available through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program
- increasing SNAP benefits by $14.3 million for low-income older adults and adults with disabilities from $20 per month to $35 per month
- $280,000 to add Agency with Choice as a service for individuals with physical disabilities; $18.8 million to provide services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism currently on the emergency waitlist
- $5.1 million to facilitate community transitions from intermediate care facilities; and $1.25 million for 20 Community Hospital Integration Projects Program (CHIPP) discharges to reduce state hospital populations
- increasing staffing levels for the Department of Human Services by investing $1.4 million in several program areas such as regulatory, licensure, budgetary, and administrative workloads
- providing $667,000 for additional staff within the Department of Aging to strengthen older adult protective services
- prioritizing the expansion of access to health care and supportive services for parents through pregnancy, postpartum, and early childhood by investing an additional $15 million to implement additional evidence-based home visiting and family support services throughout the commonwealth
- investing $1.8 million in the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program to better serve children who were victims of abuse or neglect and proposes $291,000 to create a child welfare crisis response team within the Department of Human Services
To view the the full budget address from Tuesday, Feb. 8, click here.