Government & Politics
3:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

PA Budget Chief Defends Governor's Spending Plan

Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget secretary has started three weeks of budget hearings by defending the use of revenue predictions built into a proposed $29.4 billion spending plan.

Charles Zogby acknowledges the budget proposal rests, in part, on reducing the state’s payments into the two public pension systems — something that still requires action by the Legislature.

"But that’s no different to me than any other budget that a governor presents where enactment depends not only on the general appropriations bill being enacted, but things like a school code, a welfare code bill, other pieces of legislation having to go along with it," Zogby said.

Zogby made his comments to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which, alongside its counterpart in the House, is taking budget-related feedback from state agencies for the rest of the month.

Democrats have criticized the governor’s spending plan, unveiled last week, as relying too heavily on predictions regarding revenue growth and federal approval of the governor’s alternative plan to Medicaid expansion.  

They’ve also decried the use of one-time funding sources, such as fund transfers.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee says such funding maneuvers are hardly unique to this year’s budget proposal.