Corbett Freezes Pay and Other Spending
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is freezing about three percent of the funding for most state agencies. The move comes on the heels of the announcement of a pay freeze for state cabinet and management employees. Corbett's office says that the total spending reduction amounts to almost $160 million, less than one percent of the state's $27.2 billion budget.
The state-related universities (University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Temple University, and Lincoln University) will see their funding frozen by five percent. That's in addition to a 32 percent funding cut for Penn State in this year's budget, and a 19 percent cut for the other three schools.
Basic education funding remains untouched, and a less than one percent freeze is planned overall for the Education Department. Agriculture will see about two percent less, but for several individual programs, 10 percent spending holds are planned. Public safety agencies, like the State Police and Department of Corrections, will see freezes of about one percent.
Within the executive branch, the largest hold is on arts grants, which will see a freeze of about 10 percent of its allocation.
Governor Corbett says that he may reverse the freezes if tax revenues pick up in the coming months. The state is running a deficit of about $480 million dollars due to lower than expected tax revenues in the first half of the fiscal year.