The moratorium has been lifted — sort of — and public school districts awaiting commonwealth reimbursement for construction projects could soon see money flowing again.
As part of the 2014-15 state budget, the General Assembly has added $10 million for new projects and freed up about $73 million in reserves to help address the backlog under the state’s so-called PlanCon program.
The moratorium has been in place since 2012. It would be officially lifted in the budget-related bills awaiting Gov. Tom Corbett's signature.
An amended fiscal code bill is slated to clear the House today. It will need concurrence by the Senate before it goes to Gov. Tom Corbett, who has delayed signing the main budget bill because he wants an overhaul of the commonwealth’s public-sector pension system.
The latter was referred to committee Tuesday and the governor is said to be mulling his options to veto parts of the budget. He has until the end of the day on July 11 to make a decision. The constitution allows a bill to become law after 10 days if the governor declines to act.
There is a roughly $1.6 billion total backlog for 338 projects, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The immediate need is about $105 million for 200 projects approved through Part G of the program.
The program was receiving nearly $300 million per year. That appropriation is expected to be $306.2 million, according to lawmakers.