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.
“If we don’t start addressing pensions right now, in 2016-17, $4.3 billion of the budget goes to pension. What does that do to funding everywhere else that we need to have the funding?” Corbett said.
“It is an indication that people aren’t spending money. The economy, again, is in a fragile state. The indicators do not indicate any level of strong growth.”
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, an Allegheny County Republican, says the final version of the budget – negotiated by legislative leaders and the governor — is not very different from the version okayed by the Senate a few weeks ago.
There was a rush in Trenton yesterday to make sure no New Jersey state official gets a pay raise anytime soon by, in effect, putting the panel that approves the increases out of business.
Tuition is going up, again, for 56,000 students of Rutgers University in New Jersey, but not by as much as it could have.
The union representing faculty at West Chester, Cheyney and twelve other state-owned Pennsylvania universities is offering to negotiate a one-year pay freeze.
During a state Senate Appropriations hearing this past week, the heads of the four state-related universities – Temple, Lincoln, Pitt and Penn State – said that the governor’s proposal to cut their funding by more than half would affect more than just tuition.
New Jersey’s fiscal crunch will not, apparently, affect the state’s ability to tackle winter storms, even though all available money for snow removal this year has already been spent.
The fourteen community colleges in Pennsylvania are worried about state budget cuts that could make it harder for people who can’t afford a private education to attend a two-year institution.
Gov. Rendell says revenue collections in September were more than three-percent above projections after coming in about a half-percent above projections in August.