Gov. Shapiro seeks billions for schools, development in budget; proposes legalization of marijuana

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Josh Shapiro released his $48.3 billion budget for 2024-25 on Tuesday.

The budget calls for major increases in education spending, including a $1.1 billion, or 14% increase, in public schools.

An extra $200 million would go to the state’s colleges and universities.

“I know that’s a bold vision, and some will reflexively be opposed, saying, ‘We can’t afford that,’” Shapiro said. “But I would argue we can’t afford not to invest right now.”

Shapiro is also advocating for an increase in minimum wage, up to $15 from $7.25.

>> Gov. Shapiro proposes raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage in budget address

The budget does not include any sales or income taxes.

How will the state afford to cover the increase in spending? Gov. Shapiro is proposing the legalization of marijuana.

He called for expunging records of those incarcerated for marijuana, and using $5 million of proceeds for restorative justice. Shapiro’s administration estimates the industry would eventually yield $250 million in additional annual revenue.

The 2024-25 fiscal year begins on July 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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