Governor Tom Corbett delivered his fourth budget address Tuesday, calling for more than $900 million in additional state spending over the current fiscal year.
A sizable portion of Corbett's roughly three percent increase in state spending would go to education. Is this year's version of the governor's budget really the "pivot point" that Budget Secretary Charles Zogby is calling it?
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review capitol reporter Brad Bumsted points out that the budget has supporters and critics. Senator Tim Pawlenty showed support for the budget plan by declaring the latest speech as the best budget speech of Corbett's tenure. But how does Corbett plan on completing this budget plan without raising taxes?
According to Bumsted, “his budget director says its by anticipating 4% revenue growth with a number of one-time fixes and continuing fixes. But some of the things he is counting on requires approval outside of his control."
This need for approval is the opening that many critics are using as Bumsted notes. "They're saying its strung together by band-aids...its shaky, and even if it does close the gap somehow it leaves us in a bad situation for the future."
When asked about how the budget will be affected by compromise, Bumsted thinks there may not be any need for compromise.
"If you did take [the budget] exactly as it is and you brought it up for a vote, despite what they're saying, it would be hard for some of these democrats to vote against it, because it gives them what they've been asking for, which is a sizable increase in education funding."