Budget Update: GOP Plan Appears to Be on Track

A view of the Pennsylvania State house from the State Street bridge in HarrisburgThe budget season started with ideas of major reforms and theories of bipartisan deals. It appears to be ending with the simple hope that a budget can be passed by the close of business Monday.

Yesterday, in a surprising move, Governor Corbett sought a new avenue to secure support for pension reform, Philadelphia Democrats.

In a press conference held in his office, Gov. Corbett offered Philly legislators a cigarette tax that would provide much-needed funds for the city’s schools. In exchange, those lawmakers would support the Governor’s efforts to reform the state’s pensions plan.

Democrats, who don’t currently control any branch of government and may be stalling for what they hope will be a Wolf Administration next year, were not interested.

“We just want to collectively say the governor should be ashamed of himself for tying the future of the children in the school district in Philadelphia to issues that have no relationship to their future, to their success, to their survival,” said Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, criticizing Corbett who never “stepped a foot” in a Philadelphia school during his first term.

Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed their own budget plan last night on a 16-10 party line vote.

This proposal comes to $29.1 billion and relies on one-time budget items instead of tax increases. It also doesn’t include Gov. Corbett’s priorities of liquor privatization or pension reform.

It is expected to be taken up by the full Senate and House today in time for it to hit Governor Corbett’s desk tonight for his signature.

We’ll keep you updated as the day progresses.

6 Responses

  1. @ Happy Valley:

    I maintain my view after having noted your flailing reaction, noting that Corbett knows what isn’t under his control [BHO’s destruction of the national economy and, thus, quality jobs] and what he can influence [decreased union potency to suck discretionary-funds].

    Indeed, one wonders whether he could have been so resolute during earlier years of his tenure.

  2. Robert, no. Corbett hasn’t begun to show any fiscal responsibility, so passing the buck off to unions is just that. Corbett gave a $1.2 billion tax cut to fat cats, and guess what, there’s a $1.2 billion shortfall because trickle down doesn’t. Working people’s wages are flat. The new jobs pay less than the old jobs, so those tax revenues are down. The only way to grow the economy is for working people to have a little money to buy stuff.

  3. My reaction was entirely different from that of both the author of this piece and the people who commented on it; I see Corbett acting forthrightly when refusing to sign-off on the budget until the pension-issue has been resolved.

    This may be ascribed to a “What, me worry?” political posture, or it may reflect core beliefs that, until now,have been suppressed; either way, he is placing pressure on the legislature for the first time–publicly–to such an extreme.

    Essentially, he’s confronting the GOP legislators who are “rented” by unions [noting that most all Dems are “controlled” by unions); he could not be evincing any more populism [to regain the “Base”] than he is now, noting also that Paycheck Protection remains in-the-mix.

  4. Thsi is ridiculous. They completely ignore this year’s shortfall in revenues that is sure to continue next year. They INCREASE business tax cuts that should have been taken off the table. They duck the Severance Tax completely after Chesapeake threatened them. This POS only balances if you are reading Alice in Wonderland and ate those funny mushrooms. Maybe they partook of that medicinal marijuana they were debating yesterday? How about sharing, you one-ways? What a bunch of clowns. It’s no wonder PA is the laughingstock of the East Coast.

  5. Pathetic. This is a fiscally irresponsible budget. I’m sure they’ll back slap and talk about how difficult it was. Oh well next year Wolf will own this.

Comments are closed.

  • When Will PA House Agree On Rules?

    • After the Special House Elections (Feb 7) (92%)
    • End of the Month (Jan 31) (4%)
    • End of Next Week (Jan 27) (2%)
    • Early February (Feb 1-6) (2%)

    Total Voters: 152

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