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Corbett Refuses to Sign Budget

GovernorCorbettIt seemed like it would be a low-key night. Of course, appearances can often be deceiving and they certainly were last night.

Earlier yesterday it looked as if a $29.1 billion budget plan would be signed by midnight on Monday.

The Senate passed the bill on a mostly party-line vote of 26-24. Later that night, the House passed the same piece of legislation again by a mostly partisan 108-95.

The dissenting Republicans, Sen. Chuck McIlhinney and Reps. DiGirolamo, Miccarelli and Taylor were all from Southeast PA.

At around 11:00 PM, however, Governor Corbett shocked the commonwealth when he revealed he would not be signing the budget before the midnight deadline.

“We are elected to serve the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania. Leadership is not always about the popular choices; it’s about difficult choices,” the Governor wrote in an official statement. “The budget I received tonight makes significant investments in our common priorities of education, jobs and human services. It does not address all the difficult choices that still need to be made.”

Specifically, the Governor mentioned the lack of pension reform in the budget as a reason not to sign it into law.

“I will continue to work with the legislature toward meaningful pension reform,” he concluded. “I am withholding signing the budget passed by the General Assembly while I deliberate its impact on the people of Pennsylvania.”

Therefore, the current budgetary process is at a standstill at the moment as everyone awaits the next move.

27 Responses

  1. Robert-
    You did a nice job of copying Corbett’s talking points. However, Corbett’s interesting in “altering the trajectory of this long term commitment” is to stop committing to it and put more burden on the workers.

    He didn’t “put an end to the reckless government spending practices that increased taxes and created a weaker Pennsylvania”

    Instead he cut vital programs and government functions, while putting in irresponsible cuts to revenue, thus generating deeper debt and weaking PA.

    Fortunately, Corbett’s term will soon be over, and PA can get it’s priorities straight again.

  2. @ DD:

    You are again totally incorrect; Corbett wants to alter the long-term trajectory of this commitment. To follow is a communication just received:

    Governor Tom Corbett has fought hard over the past three and a half years to build a stronger Pennsylvania that lays a solid foundation for our children and grandchildren. It wasn’t easy for Governor Corbett to stabilize things when he inherited a $4.2 billion budget deficit from the previous administration, but that’s exactly what Governor Corbett did; he put an end to the reckless government spending practices that increased taxes and created a weaker Pennsylvania.

    Our Commonwealth has come a long way under Governor Tom Corbett’s leadership. Unemployment has gone from 8.2 percent the day he was elected to 5.6 percent today – a five-year low. Our state has also created over 175,000 new private sector jobs and we now have more people working in the private sector than at any other point in state history. That’s a stronger Pennsylvania.

    Unfortunately, our state is facing a pension crisis that threatens to destroy the financial stability of our state. If we do not address this crisis, it would be catastrophic to the Pennsylvania taxpayers. Consider these sobering facts on our state’s pension crisis:
    • Within four years, our pension liabilities will be twice the size of our annual state budget.
    • For every new dollar of revenue generated in Pennsylvania, $.60 cents goes to new pension liabilities.
    • If we do not act to address the pension crisis, the Commonwealth faces a potential credit downgrade, driving borrowing costs higher, and further straining future budgets.
    • Pension costs are also a major cost driver for local school districts and has led to increasing property taxes.
    Governor Corbett has repeatedly sounded the alarm on the need to address this crisis and has encouraged the state legislature to include meaningful pension reform as part of their 2014-2015 state budget agreement.

    Unfortunately, the legislature has failed to address this critical issue. Governor Corbett is committed to working with the legislature to pass a meaningful pension reform bill, and has decided to withhold his signature from the budget, as he reviews its impact on the people of Pennsylvania.

    Governor Corbett means it when he says that he didn’t come to Harrisburg to make friends – he came here to build a stronger Pennsylvania, and that is what he’s fighting for each and every day.

  3. Robert-
    That’s not my “assumption”.

    Corbett’s “plan” is to kick the ball down the court for some short-term budget relief, instead of raising proper revenue to cover obligations. That doesn’t “de-fuse” it.

    Corbett has failed on the revenue side, and has refused to consider legitimate sources of revenue.

  4. @ DD:

    Your assumption is that the current pension-bomb shouldn’t be de-fused; most Pennsylvanians disagree.

  5. Robert-

    Corbett isn’t interested in “reforming” the pension system. Corbett’s “reform” plan is to cut employer contributions “temporarily” for “budget relief” while increasing employee contributions to retain their future benefit levels. That’s not “reform”.

    Indy votes are NOT going to Corbett, because they aren’t right-wing nutjobs who believe in the mantra of lower taxes and budget cuts to fix problems. If the state has obligations, it is specifically empowered to raise revenue. It can do with taxes or fees on use of resources, or make better investments, etc. Taxing to pay for things the State owes/provides is not a sin.

    I don’t expect you to understand this because you are:
    1) Foolish enough to support Corbett
    2) More foolish to have supported Guzzardi

  6. John, please read what Steve wrote; if you can’t provide a citation to support what you assert you read, then your attack on Corbett isn’t justified.

  7. Much that I have read about the hybrid pension plan seems to indicate that it actually does nothing for the long term debt and after 5 years starts needing state money to function. Not being a wise guy but that just happens to be just past when Governor Corbett is out of office. Just to pass a bill that accomplishes nothing to say you achieved pension reform is not the type of politician that I feel I can support. This is not the leadership that I am looking for in someone who wants my vote. I would rather abstain from voting rather then holding my nose and voting for the least of two bad choices. I wish I had the chance to select “None of the above” when I go into the voting booth. Many times I just can’t in good conscience cast a vote to a particular race.

  8. The Governor is to be saluted and respected for addressing the most serious crisis facing our Commonwealth, the underfunded pension plan. It would have been easy for him to sign the budget as presented and go on to the November election. Instead, he is trying to solve a real problem with a real solution, even if it negatively impacts his chances in November. I hope clear thinking voters understand that the Governor has put the fiscal health of future generations, ahead of his own political ambitions. Kudos to you Governor!

  9. @ DD:

    You consistently prefer to pound-away rather than to mop-up your previously-documented errors; for example, you obviously reject any type of pension-reform [to defuse the impending “bomb”] and, instead, want to propose short-term enhanced-taxation.

    Comments such as this will increasingly drive Indy-votes to the GOP [in PA and nationally], notwithstanding Sandusky.

  10. DD,

    “An excellent piece by Rosita Youngblood…” hahahahaha, she and the rest of the Philadelphia delegation are barely sentient human beings.

  11. Robert-
    Corbett has refused to condemn Paterno because he can’t afford to alienate any PSU fans in an election year. (Not that it matters, because he’s going to lose big anyway.)

    “Corbett is acting the statesman”. BS. The people paying into pension plans have met their obligations, but “reform” is just code for screwing them over.

    Corbett could call for a tax on oil/gas to make up some budgetary shortfalls and properly fund education.

    There was an excellent piece today by Rosita Youngblood about how taxes won’t drive the oil/gas people away anymore than taxes on casinos (55% of slots) drove away, because it’s business that they can do only in PA. They aren’t going to leave if they are asked to pay a fair tax rate.

    Corbett knows this (or at least it could be explained to him with small words and some crayon drawings). However, Corbett is beholden to the massive donations he gets from the oil/gas industry as he does their bidding.

  12. does anyone in the commonwealth see this as anything but a hastily thought out political stunt?

  13. I LOVE JOHN BARBENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE JOHN BARBENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE JOHN BARBENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Hey, PAINDY1 here, I know you can’t wait to read about everything I have to say. I have secret inside information you know. At least I’m pretty sure I do. Mom’s basement doesn’t get great reception and the dial-up internet is a little slow, but all in all I think I’m on top of all the breaking news. I also love John Barbender, he’s the greatest!!

  16. Sugar pants and random ants eating through the sky. I had no choice, but to boom my voice because I am so fly. It was not thee who ate at three, for it is just as he said. All is knowing a happy showing, that CORBETT IS ELECTED AGAIN!!!!

  17. Notwithstanding the strident phraseology inherent in most of these posts, the bottom-line is that they grudgingly reflect growing recognition that Corbett is acting the statesman; it matters not whether this can be perceived as grandstanding, because he is acting from [correct] conviction.

    For further analysis of the points made earlier regarding this gubernatorial posture, note how I had encouraged him to stand-firm against union-generated pressure regarding ALL of the major unfulfilled promises he must confront; all these “fingers” are connected to the same “hand.”

    Naysayers should note how he cleverly has provided the Philly-education folk a “carrot” [$] that need not require a “stick” [institutional evolution] to be acknowledged; this is not dissimilar to how Sen. Eichenberger had unilaterally attempted to find common-ground regarding the “Paycheck” issue.

  18. I think Corbett’s refusal to sign is a cover-up for his forgetting how to sign his name. 🙂

    As for his statements:
    1) “The budget I received tonight makes significant investments in our common priorities of education, jobs and human services”
    In this case, “significant” means “underfunded”.
    2) “It does not address all the difficult choices that still need to be made”
    It needs more perks, kick-backs and give-a-ways to his donors.
    3) while “I deliberate its impact on the people of Pennsylvania”
    while he checks with his corporate masters.

  19. PA Democrats first rail against this budget and then fault Corbett for not signing it. Makes sense.

  20. Corbett’s campaign has stepped in and is using this opportunity for free media. It is called “Earned Media” in the business. They are trying to make him look like a leader, strong and decisive.

    He should have acted this way instead of ignoring the Sandusky investigation and allowing his own Child Predator Unit to be used in Bonusgate.

    He should have acted this way and not approved The Second Mile grant for a new HQ building before he approved the project.

    He should have acted this way and not accepted campaign moneys from The Second Mile contributors while his prosecutors were investigating Sandusky.

    Need I continue?

    This is all for free media while running a political campaign.

  21. Extortionist in Chief. I wonder how much the Koch Brothers have deposited into the Corbett retirement fund? HIS pension is all paid for, you can bet on that! And HIS medical benefits will never be cut.

  22. That squishing sound you hear is the Republican legislature being run over by their very own Republican governor on his way to driving the bus off the cliff.

  23. I sure hope Acting Governor Brabender can get this budget done. The Dark Prince has ihis intrepid team of Ms. Baker and Baby Brian Nutt hard at work on the case. I am so glad we have a Washington self-described Crisis Manager as our Acting Governor in trying times like these.

  24. Come ON Corbett!! your days are numbered…no one in the State wants you representing us any longer!.. any decisions you try to make now.. are worthless…as are you! You have not done anything of any good to the citizens of Pennsylvania. So please shut your pie hole.. and sign the bill!

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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