HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro will present his first budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, March 7.
The inaugural address will be held at the State Capitol in Harrisburg starting at 11:30 a.m.
Shapiro’s speech, which comes two months after he was sworn in as the state’s 48th governor, can be watched on abc27.com starting at 11:30 a.m.
The Associated Press reports Shapiro’s operating budget will “almost certainly” be above the most recent $42.8 billion budget and include tax cuts.
Shapiro has been touring the state speaking to business audiences, promising to be a cheerleader for the nation’s No. 2 natural gas state and to ensure state government speeds along permits to businesses seeking to hire, dig or build.
One big Shapiro campaign promise is to cut Pennsylvania’s sky-high corporate income tax rate by more than half within two years, as Pennsylvania competes for a federally funded hydrogen hub and tries to attract the kind of multibillion-dollar battery plants and microchip factories landing in other states.
Shapiro also is vowing to make a “down payment” on the billions of dollars that public school advocates say are necessary to fix disparities between poor and wealthy school districts in Pennsylvania. Watching closely will be the school districts that won a landmark court decision last month that said the state’s public schools funding system is violating the constitutional rights of students.
Shapiro, the former state attorney general, is riding a huge election victory in the presidential battleground and has billions in state surplus cash to help him meet campaign promises.
He also has promised to work with Republicans and sow bipartisan peace.
But Shapiro is saddled with a slow-growing economy, grim demographic trends and what he calls a “workforce crisis” that is making hiring for social services, schools, police departments and hospitals harder.
Most details of Shapiro’s budget plan for the 2023-24 fiscal year, which starts July 1, remains under wraps.
Whatever Shapiro proposes will require passage from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate. Appropriations Committee hearings start March 20.
The Associated Press contributed to this report