HARRISBURG – Governor Tom Corbett today unveiled a proposed $27.14 billion state budget before a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, according to State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).
Yaw said the governor’s budget proposal represents a $20 million reduction in spending from the current fiscal year. Overall, Governor Corbett is proposing to eliminate 33 appropriations, while reducing 164 line items.
“The current budget marked the first time in 40 years that state spending went down, and this proposed plan for next year is consistent with that approach,” said Yaw. “When families find themselves making less money than they are spending, they tighten their belts. That is the approach state government must take until the economy and revenues improve.”
Yaw said the governor is proposing a new $6.5 billion Student Achievement Education Block Grant Program for school districts. The plan keeps the Basic Education funding level steady, with no cut, but gives school districts greater flexibility to spend state education dollars as they see fit.
Welfare funding will also include block grants, giving counties the ability make spending decisions at the local level in an effort to reduce waste and improve efficiency.
The Senate’s review of the budget will formally begin on February 13th with three weeks of hearings conducted by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The state’s current fiscal year ends on June 30th.
“This is just the beginning of the process,” said Yaw. “As with last year, the budget passed by the Senate won’t be exactly the same as the governor’s proposal. We’ll make changes based on our review of the plan, with the ultimate goal being a fiscally responsible budget passed in a timely manner.”
Contact: Rita Zielonis