shapiro budget veto

Underserved students face uncertain future following Gov. Shapiro’s budget decision

Harrisburg, Pa., August 3, 2023 – Commonwealth Foundation Senior Vice President Nathan Benefield issued the following statement following Gov. Josh Shapiro’s decision to line-item veto the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) program—also known as Lifeline Scholarships:

“Governor Shapiro’s decision to veto the Lifeline/PASS Scholarships, while not unexpected, is disappointing and unnecessary. The Governor’s bungling of this budget  leaves tens of thousands of children trapped in Pennsylvania’s worst-performing schools, devoid of meaningful opportunities to succeed.

“Even with the signing of the general appropriations bill, the state budget remains incomplete, perpetuating the impasse. Many new programs, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, are still in limbo. They require authorization language, which typically comes through ‘fiscal code’ legislation yet to be passed by the state legislature.

“As Governor, Shapiro must demonstrate leadership and work towards brokering a deal that includes Lifeline Scholarships, delivering for the students of the commonwealth. This is his chance to redeem himself, fulfill his campaign promises, and offer a genuine opportunity to thousands of low-income kids who deserve a better future.”


The Commonwealth Foundation transforms free-market ideas into public policies so all Pennsylvanians can flourish.