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GOP State Budget Plan Clears House

PA House ChamberWith the next fiscal year beginning July 1, the PA House of Representatives has finalized its proposed budget. The $29.1 billion dollar spending plan passed 110-93, with most Republicans voting yea and Democrats voting nay.

GOP budget designers chose to spend $300 million less than Gov. Corbett proposed in February; in part due to the lesser amounts of taxes collected. The plan increases spending by 1.9%, yet places no extra tax burden on Pennsylvanians.

Though Gov. Corbett’s “Ready to Learn” block grant to fund public education was not directly included in the proposed budget, the plan will provide $10.3 billion for K-12 education.

The budget, as currently written, is balanced, however it relies upon $380 million that would result from the privatization of liquor sales in the state. There are reports, however, that this effort would not survive the State Senate.

The budget is balanced and funds the states most crucial needs, according to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware).

Adolph stated, “this is a solid spending plan that puts the priorities of our citizens first and makes sure we are good fiscal stewards of the taxpayers money.”

GOP leadership is confident that the proposed budget is one that “represents spending priorities supported by our constituents.”

House Democrats counter that the increase in education spending does not counterbalance the funds diverted three years ago to reform the pension system. Continuing to call for a 5% severance tax on natural gas drillers, Democrats claim that tax would raise $700 million.

Governor Corbett’s administration and the Senate will meet to discuss the proposal during the next few days. The Governor told legislative leaders last week that raising taxes are out of the question until the pension funding issue is adequately funded.

12 Responses

  1. When the big box stores start selling wine under the R plan, I wonder if they will still be able to pocket 1 percent of the state sales tax as they do now. Maybe the Repubs will increase it to two percent, and who knows what other “redistribution of wealth” ?

  2. The private liquor license fees would bring the state a billion dollars a significant in this budget.

    You should stop spreading crap to hold on to the pro-union, pa taxing losing monoply liquor, which keeps the liquor monopoly boondoggle in the pension bankrupting the pa taxpayers and government

    You appear only want to jacking our taxes

  3. Uh, guest, which privatized states earn more from liquor sales than Pa?
    This piece is about this years budget. Corbetts own Budget Secretary, Charles Zogsby, says money from privatization would not be available for this years budget. The fiscal note attached to HB790, the privatization bill, shows the state won’t realize any one time windfall for a couple years. The independent report commissioned by the Governor with our tax dollars assumes a cost of 1.4 billion dollars over four years. This is what Corbetts own people are saying. Only in the mind of Mike Turzai can zero plus zero plus something less than zero add up to 380 million dollars!

  4. The liquor taxes remain the same under privatization. In fact the state earns more with privation as with the waste and boondoggle on pension gone. The increase to the state will balance the budget and probable add to education children. The liquor monopoly costs state money (no earning – money stolen).
    The liquor monopoly steals money education kids needs money but pro-union promotes waste.

  5. The State House Republicans have just passed a budget and bragged about it in their local newspapers that is completely simply put a lie. It depends on the sale of the state stores (which is not going to happen) and the lie that they have increased spending on Public Education when in truth it never puts back the money that was cut from Public Education three years ago. Innuendo and distraction is all the Republicans that have the Governor, House, and Senate majorities is all they can deliver to the people of Pennsylvania while they take care of their special interests groups that fund them. THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THIS BUDGET TRASH.

  6. @13stDistrictDem. As Adam said…The 80 million you quote is the cash transfer to the general fund. The total income including monies earmarked for other state agencies and given out as grants totaled 128 million. In fact, at this years House Aprops hearings the Plcb testified they could easily add another 20 million to your favorite Governors request but he won’t take it. Wonder why? Even the other champion of privatization, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, never made the claim the Plcb loses money. Four years ago he ran around with his now infamous chart showing how the Plcb would be losing money by this year but instead they blew his graph to smithereens by posting record profits each year. BTW I don’t think you were fibbing when you misrepresented the Plcb income by over 40%. Common myth. Hard to believe that after four years of General Assembly hearings and public debate the myths continue.

    The other argument that even Corbett and Turzai won’t use is the pensions. Anyone with a lick of sense can see taking out people currently funding the plan and turning them into recipients doesn’t help. In fact the more you take out the worse things get. There you have it. I just gave Tom and Mike a complement. Between the two of them it adds up to one “lick of sense”.

  7. Where’s the solution to the pension bubble? Where’s the realistic revenue estimate from liquor store sales, even if the Senate were to concur, which it won’t? If this budget were enacted, the Supreme Court would throw it out as fiction. House Republicans are shoveling horse poop. Shame on them.

  8. The post right below this one is a complete lie. The liquor system is a revenue generator.

  9. Bill Adolf does a great job. The proposal selling selling liquor deseves support. At the most liquor monopoly makes only $80 million a year. But all the liquor union employees are in the give away deficit pension. So the government liquor monopoly operation is probably losing money every year and costing taxpayers money every year.

  10. So it looks like Todd Stephens (R) was the only person to cross the aisle and vote no?

    Way to go on a party-line vote Democrats. This isn’t a real budget to address the issues surrounding education, job creation, or anything really in the Commonwealth.

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