Pennsylvania Capitol gets $55 Million Facelift

Feb 24, 2012

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has included tens of millions of dollars in the state's capital budget to make what he calls "crucial repairs" to the state capitol. The $55 million would cover work on the capitol building itself and a few of the surrounding buildings.

Corbett blasted the same type of funding as a gubernatorial candidate when it happened under former governor Ed Rendell's watch. However, Corbett said his spending proposal is different. He said Rendell's spending on renovations is very different than his proposal for state Capitol fixes.

"[Rendell spent] about $45 million I think for renovations of offices. That's not repairing things that are falling down. That's a different story," said Corbett. "When you have roofs leaking, multiple roofs leaking — if you leave something unfixed, it only gets worse and you have to address that."

"To me renovations mean remodeling. I don't think what is being described in this $55 million is remodeling. It's a lot of safety issues, so it's a big difference," said Corbett.

The money would not come out of the state's revenues, but from a fund of borrowed money.

It's the second time this month the governor has had to defend a move he decried on the campaign trail. Earlier this month controversy swirled around his approval of a state grant promised by Rendell for the Arlen Specter Library in Philadelphia. Corbett said politically he didn't agree with the expense, but he had no legal way of canceling the former governor's promise.