Pennsylvania Budget

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the impact the state budget has on women was examined at a Women and Girls Foundation forum.

Slightly more than 51 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is made up of women, according to U.S. Census data. The state budget affects every resident of the state, but some argue that budget cuts to certain areas disproportionately affect women, especially women of color.

A state Senate hearing offered lawmakers a chance to heap anticipatory praise on the state Department of Public Welfare's brand-new chief.

The chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee had to ask the audience to refrain from applause - not a common request during budget hearings.

Nevertheless, lawmakers on the panel found other ways to gush. One called acting secretary Bev Mackereth tremendous. Another said she's a breath of fresh air.

Not Democratic state Senator Larry Farnese of Philadelphia.

Community College presidents from around the commonwealth addressed the House Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing this week, making the case for increased funding.

The state Capitol is where the sausage is made, or so the saying goes. So perhaps it makes sense that, with so many big proposals to negotiate, there's been a lot of talk about links.

One example: the governor's liquor privatization plan has been linked to education funding, in that his proposal would put $1 billion raised through selling off state stores and liquor licenses toward one-time grants for schools - a program called Passport to Learning.

When Governor Corbett released his proposed 2013-14 budget of $28.4 billion this month, it included a transportation investment plan.

The governor said that his five year initiative would total more than $5.3 billion--roughly an additional $250 million per year for mass transit in Pennsylvania.

But Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute, a conservative think tank, said the increased amounts don't add up.

State Police Face Shortages in Wake Of Municipal Budget Cuts

Feb 21, 2013
Sean M. Flynn/Flickr

The increasing reliance on the Pennsylvania State Police isn’t letting up any time soon, in spite of the governor’s plan to put another 380 troopers on patrol.

The head of the State Police is voicing concern about the growing number of municipalities depending on the agency for their police coverage. As communities look to cut costs by shrinking their police departments, the State Police are left to pick up the slack.

A Dauphin County State Senator is worried the commonwealth's “watchdog” agencies won’t be able to perform their duties if Governor Tom Corbett’s new $28.5 billion budget passes.

The Governor has called for level funding for the Auditor General ($40,777,000) and Attorney General ($78,121,000), and a $16,607,000 (1.5 percent) cut to the Treasurer’s office. The State Ethics Commission would also see level funding, and The Office of Open Records would get a small spending increase.

Hearings Begin on PA's $28.48B Budget

Feb 19, 2013

Two weeks after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his $28.4 billion dollar budget proposal, state lawmakers are settling in for what could be a fight. Three weeks of House and Senate budget hearings began Tuesday in Harrisburg. 

Throughout the hearings, agency secretaries sit before the two chambers' appropriations committees to answer questions about their budgets.

Senator Jim Ferlo (D- Allegheny County) quickly set the tone for the hearings in his questioning of PA Budget Secretary Charles Zogby. 

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