Gov. Tom Corbett shuttled between the offices of legislative leaders on the final afternoon of the state budget year Sunday with the fate of his ambitious budget-season agenda hanging in the balance.
It appears that the majority Republicans in the Pennsylvania are poised to gut a transportation funding bill passed by the state senate earlier this year.
Governor Corbett today will also roll out his plan to address the rising costs of state and school employee pensions. And he’s expected to propose lifting the cap on gasoline taxes at the wholesale level when he outlines a long-awaited proposal to raise new money for transportation projects.
Corbett says funding for the state-related universities -– Temple, Pitt, Lincoln, and Penn State -– as well as the 14 state-owned universities will remain the same in his budget proposal.
Governor Corbett is likely to propose changes to future pension benefits for current workers when he rolls out his plan to reduce the spiking cost of pensions for school and state employees.
Now midway into his first term, Gov. Corbett says there are “many causes crying out for funding.”
In his mid-year briefing, Pennsylvania’s budget secretary says the outlook for the rest of the fiscal year is status quo but that the budget for the new fiscal year may be the toughest one yet.
The cuts in aid to 61,000 poor Pennsylvanians go into effect July 31st.
Legislation imposing a moratorium on gas and oil drilling in Bucks and Montgomery Counties was included in budget legislation approved over the weekend, touching off a firestorm of controversy.
Work on the budget is not likely to be completed until Saturday.
Auditor General Jack Wagner says Pennsylvania charter schools are spending a million dollars a day more than necessary.
A local program that aids fathers who had done prison time readjust to society is being phased out, because state funding has been cut off.
Corbett told a gathering of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania that he believes the revenue picture has improved enough that the state can spend more than he originally proposed in February.
A new budget is definitely on the agenda, while House action on legislation to privatize liquor sales is a possibility.
With the state’s revenue picture improving, the Senate is expected to approve a budget plan that would restore the governor’s proposed cuts for state-owned universities and three state-related schools, Temple, Pitt and Penn State in exchange for a pledge from the heads of those schools to keep tuition hikes at or below the rate of inflation.