PA State Budget

Tim Lambert / WITF

As Governor Tom Wolf prepares to introduce his first budget as Pennsylvania’s governor, two state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would limit state spending – with the ultimate goal of leaving the issue up to the voters. The bill, introduced by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Greene) would tie the spending limit to the growth of the population and inflation.

“That percentage is all that the budget can grow,” said Bartolotta, “when there’s an excess in that, 25 percent of that will go back to the taxpayers, 25 percent will go to Rainy Day Fund and 50 percent of that excess will go to pay down the pension problem.”

The change is needed, according to Bartolotta, because general fund spending has more than tripled over the past 30 years.

“The population’s only grown by 7.7 percent and unfortunately the budget has grown to over 1,010 percent in that amount of time,” she said.

Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to sign the $29.1 billion budget passed by state lawmakers last week. He said he would not sign a budget that does not include a pension overhaul.

Explaining Governor Corbett's Budget Battle

Jul 2, 2014
Capitol Media Service

Budgets often lead to some of the most contentious battles within government, and the approval for the Pennsylvania’s $29.1 billion budget is shaping up to follow suit.

The budget was approved by lawmakers on Monday night, hours before the end of Pennsylvania’s fiscal year, but Governor Tom Corbett refused to sign the budget sent to him.

He said he would withhold his signature until the General Assembly made a decision regarding pension cuts, adding that the budget “does not address all the difficult choices that still need to be made.”

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a $29.1 billion state budget late Monday to the fanfare of Republicans and jeers of Democrats. Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to sign the budget, citing a lack of a pension overhaul.

Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) is one of many Democrats displeased with the bill.

A roughly $29.1 billion state budget is poised for final votes in the House and Senate Monday. The plan includes no new taxes, and appears likely to go to the governor before the midnight deadline. Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans are noting the number of one-time funding sources and optimistic tax revenue forecasts baked into the plan. The proposed spending blueprint relies on nearly $250 million in transfers from funds for small business loans and other programs.

Breaking Down Corbett's Budget Proposal

Feb 5, 2014
pa.gov

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."

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday announced an additional $10 million in funding for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts.

“Every child in this state should be, ready to learn, ready to grow, ready to succeed, and my budget sets an agenda in that spirit,” Corbett said.

90.5 WESA

Following a “bad weekend” with the collapse of his agenda, Governor Tom Corbett signed a nearly $29 billion state budget Sunday night.  Controversial issues including liquor privatization and allocations for transportation funding remain in the Legislature until the fall, prompting a close examination of these pressing topics and the motivations behind both parties in both the House and Senate.