Advertisement

Corbett feels good about Pennsylvania budget

July 13, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Following Saturday’s Mont Alto Centennial Parade, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett discussed the 2013-14 budget with reporters.

When asked what his biggest frustration was about the budget, Corbett paused before answering.

“Why does everybody want to focus on frustrations. We got a lot done,” Corbett said. “We got a balanced budget done again, on time. We increased spending in very critical areas.”

The $28.4 billion spending plan increased funding by about $40 million to people with special needs, Corbett said. Funding for education was increased by $125 million, he said.

“There are so many positives to that budget that I guess if you want to say frustrations, it’s why can’t we finish this sooner rather than at the last minute?” he said.

Advertisement

Corbett said the frustration is doing it all in the last three weeks.

The 2013-14 budget increases spending by $719 million, largely for heath care for the poor, social services, public employee pensions, prisons and public schools.

It cuts business taxes by about $300 million and does not increase the state’s personal income or sales taxes.

Corbett said his three measures — liquor privatization, pensions and transportation funding — didn’t fail.

“The liquor vote was an historic vote — getting it out of the House and over to the Senate. And it was an historic vote getting the Senate to do it in committee and now out,” he said. “It hasn’t failed. We’re going to continue to push for it.”

As for transportation, Corbett said the Senate passed one bipartisan vote, 45-5, and sent it over to the House.

“The House voted it out of committee, and now, it’s kind of stopped because we don’t have enough Republican votes to get it passed. The Democratic leadership is saying we’re not going to vote for it because if we don’t vote for it, they believe the liquor bill won’t go further,” he said. “That’s not exactly in the best interest of the people of Pennsylvania as far as I’m concerned.”

“Pension, we got to a point that we ran out of time for everything to move. We need to continue to work on it, and Republican leadership has made a commitment to me when they come back in the fall to get right on it. We have to have it,” Corbett said.

Rep. Todd Rock, R-Franklin, said when Corbett came into office, the state was facing a multibillion-dollar deficit.

“At that time, all of the funds you could dip into at budget time were zeroed out,” he said.

In that case, you have two choices — raise taxes or cut spending, he said.

Rock said he and Corbett made a promise not to raise taxes.

“In just three short years, we are back on good financial footing. We have a ways to go, but it’s because of his leadership that we’re in the place we are today,” Rock said. “The state is in good shape. We have some challenges ahead. But I think he’s the man who can lead us through that.”

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|