More details on the governor’s MLF reduction plan
When Governor Josh Shapiro made his first budget presentation last week, he included a part calling for a new approach to funding the State Police. Specifically, he proposed creating a new Public Safety and Protection Fund (PSP Fund) that he said is “designed to end the decades-long transfer of Motor License Fund dollars for State Police operations.”
Shapiro proposes to decrease the amount transferred from the MLF to the State Police by $100 million annually for the next five years. The budget would then shift the money to the new PSP Fund, which other revenue sources would supplement. To accomplish this, Shapiro is proposing a permanent transfer of the following tax revenues beginning in FY2023-24 to the new PSP Fund totaling $1.017 billion:
- $400 million of Sales and Use Tax revenues from the purchases of motor vehicles, increasing by $50 million annually until it reaches $600 million in FY 2027-28.
- Revenues collected from the Tobacco Products Tax–estimated to be $157.9 million in FY 2023-24.
- Revenues collected from the 18% Liquor Tax–estimated to be $459.4 million in FY 2023-24.
In a separate proposal, Shapiro proposes investing $16.4 million in job retention and recruitment efforts to fund four additional trooper cadet training classes in 2023-24. If adopted, this would boost the complement by another 384 new troopers.
The House and Senate plan to return to session on April 24 as they are on a mini recess for the House and Senate to conduct budget hearings. PennDOT is scheduled to appear before the House Appropriations Committee at 1 p.m. on March 30 and before the Senate Appropriations Committee at 1 p.m. on April 13. Both hearings will be live-streamed via the General Assembly website at www.legis.state.pa.us