Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

PA's budget future is cloudy despite surplus

Plus, Biden announces opposition to U.S. Steel sale.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Tanisha Thomas

Friday, March 15, 2024
Today: Surplus spending, U.S. Steel sale, population data, health hazard, housing issues, and website access. It's Friday. Enjoy the weekend.
Support Spotlight PA's vital journalism and for a limited time, all gifts will be DOUBLED! AN URGENT CALL: We must raise $25,000 by March 23 to keep Spotlight PA"s unmatched brand of investigative journalism strong. Hurry a gift now and as a special bonus, every dollar you give will be DOUBLED »
Gov. Josh Shapiro wants to spend $3.5 billion of Pennsylvania’s surplus as part of his second budget proposal.

The state can afford such an expense. It has built up roughly $14 billion in financial reserves over the past four years, thanks to federal COVID-19 dollars and strong tax returns.

But if Pennsylvania had to rely solely on the tax revenue the Shapiro administration projects to bring in over the next few years, it wouldn’t be able to cover the tab.

That’s because Pennsylvania has a structural deficit — an issue that could soon catch up to the governor and lawmakers. 

Read Spotlight PA’s full report:  Pennsylvania is flush with surplus cash, but it still faces a looming budget problem.


“I’m not ignorant to the fact that this stuff does need to go somewhere, but you already have it in my backyard, I don’t need it as my neighbor as well.” 

Katie Sheehan, a Plum resident who lives down the street from a injection well site, on the proposed second well approved in 2022. Commonwealth Court reversed the approval in January.
We need your help: You won't find anyone else providing the reporting we provide, or getting the results we're getting for the people of Pennsylvania. At a time of hyper-partisanship and democracy under pressure, we need independent, nonpartisan, no-nonsense journalism more than ever.

Make a tax-deductible gift now & get it DOUBLED »

You can also give via PayPal or Venmo, or send a check to: Spotlight PA, PO Box 11728, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728.

Thank you to the more than 199 people who have given so far, including Richard H., who said, "There is no other site to get this in-depth PA state and local news." Join Richard and make a gift now »

The falls at Silver Lake in Bristol, via David M. Have a photo you want to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

a river flowing down a dam
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.
NO DEAL: President Joe Biden said Thursday he opposes the planned sale of Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel to a Japanese company, the AP reports. Biden doesn’t have the ability to block the deal — that power belongs to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — but his statement does signal support for unionized workers during a critical election year. 
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.PA POPULATION: The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual population estimates, showing little change between Pennsylvania’s 2022 and 2023 numbers, the Morning Call reports. Southeastern counties grew over the past four years while southwestern counties shrank.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.SCHOOL LAWSUIT: A Philadelphia teacher is suing the school district, claiming he was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer after spending decades in a building contaminated with asbestos, The Inquirer reports. A previous investigation by the paper found the city’s aging school buildings were heavily impacted by deteriorated asbestos; the district has inspected hundreds of buildings and closed schools in recent years.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.CARE CONCERNS: Pennsylvania counties were unable to properly house dozens of children with complex behavioral needs during the first six months of 2023, forcing kids to sleep in hotels or offices, a new report finds. According to WITF, the report recommends that counties pool their resources to create regional facilities where these children can be safely placed.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.LIMITED INFO: Only 22 of Centre County’s 35 municipalities have fully functioning websites that include officials’ contact information, meeting agendas, and more, the Centre Daily Times reports. The others either have outdated websites or none at all. One expert said the Sunshine Act doesn’t require municipalities to have a website but added that the benefits of operating one outweigh the cons.
🗞️ KNOW YOUR NEWS? Prove it with this week's news quiz: Trump’s TikTok flip-flop, 2024 pollbooks, and the State Police motif.
CASE UPDATE: A man who was shot by Wilkinsburg police in 2017 was recently acquitted of the charges used to justify the shooting. Now he’s seeking an independent investigation by the attorney general, City Paper reports. 

ABORTION ACCESS: Walgreens will now offer an abortion pill in Pennsylvania after getting federal approval, the York Daily Record reports.

ROUTE RECORD: Inspired by a YouTuber’s journey to ride every London bus route, a Temple University senior is on a mission to visit all 284 SEPTA stations and rank them, Billy Penn reports. 

BOBBLE GONE: The Pittsburgh Penguins were forced to cancel plans to give away Jaromír Jágr bobbleheads this week because the shipment was stolen after arriving in California, KDKA reports. 

HANGING UP THE HAT: The designer of former Eagles player Jason Kelce’s championship hat is retiring the iconic piece, saying fans have until April 30 to buy a signed commemorative hat, the Delaware County Daily Times reports.

Spotlight PA's exclusive 'All Sun, No Shade' beach towel

It's Sunshine Week, and our limited-edition towel is selling fast!

Promote government transparency & tan lines, all in support of Spotlight PA's vital journalism. SHOP THE SALE NOW >
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Libation

Congrats to our daily winners: Stacy S., Kim C., Beth H., Jody A., Bob C., Pat B., Kimberly D., Mike B., Elaine C., Jane R., Jon W., Becky C., Lynne E., Beth T., Don H., Richard A., Craig E., Bruce B., Jon G., Barbara F., Daniel S., Ted W., William Z., Amelia M., Patricia E., Cameron T., Susan N., Johnny C., Vicki U., Janet S., John A., Alan B., and David T.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.