Amended Budget Goes to Full Senate

    Senate Republicans unveiled the latest version of the FY2012 state budget late Monday during a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting in Harrisburg. The measure passed 16-10 along party lines. The $27.148 billion spending plan also has the approval of Governor Tom Corbett and House Republicans, who signed off on it during closed-door budget talks.

    The budget restores hundreds of millions of dollars in education spending cuts, but Democrats say it’s not enough. Democratic members of the Senate Appropriations Committee tried unsuccessfully to restore or increase funding to several line items through amendments that attempted to bolster human services, AIDS funding, the now-defunct AdultBasic health plan, the arts and tourism, among others. Each amendment failed by the same 16-10 party line vote.

    Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre) says this budget proposal spends responsibly while respecting the billions of dollars in debt the Commonwealth is now carrying.

    The budget bill is expected to go to the full Senate today.