Governor Corbett: No Democrats at the Table Because Democrats Want to Spend

Governor Tom Corbett met with top Republican leaders of the House and Senate earlier this week and says the lawmakers came in asking for all of the $27.7 billion in their spending proposal. That’s more than the $27.1 billion the governor proposed last February and he says his fellow Republicans didn’t understand that their number should be the ceiling in the starting point of negotiations.

Corbett says talks are now occurring daily as he and legislative leaders try to settle on a number somewhere in between. However, during his appearance on Radio PA’s Ask the Governor program on Thursday, the governor confirmed that no democrats have a seat at the table. Governor Corbett says that’s because Democrats want to “continue to spend” while he says Republicans have shown they are trying to “save money in some areas.”

For those hoping to see some restoration of the proposed cuts in the governor’s budget, Corbett says he is indeed looking for areas to inject additional funding following a few months of better-than-expected revenue collections from February through April. The May numbers dipped back below estimates, however.

Governor Corbett says he remains committed to meeting the June 30th deadline for a new General Fund budget.


Capitol, State Capitol, Dome

Top Republicans to Meet with Governor Tom Corbett

As the 2012 budget season prepares to enter the final stretch run, top Republican leaders from the state House and Senate were planning to meet with Governor Tom Corbett on Tuesday to present their negotiated budget package.

The state Senate passed a general fund budget last month that spends about a half-billion dollars more than the governor’s original proposal, which was unveiled in February. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says the two chambers have ironed out “about 90%” of their differences in preparation for talks with the administration. Indications are that lawmakers are hoping to restore some of the governor’s proposed cuts to higher education if the universities promise to rein in any tuition increases for the coming year. Cuts to basic ed and county services could also be partially restored after the Commonwealth saw increased revenue collections in recent months.

The governor proposed a $27.1 billion general fund budget in February. He is scheduled to visit for his monthly Ask the Governor program on Thursday.


PA Budget Debate

AARP Concerned About Budget Transfers Proposed for Lottery Fund

The Governor’s spending plan would transfer $250 million dollars from the Lottery Fund to the state’s Medicaid budget, directed to the long term care fund. AARP Pennsylvania says that’s sending the wrong message.

Advocacy manager Ray Landis says the transfer would take money away from home and community-based programs for older adults and give it to mostly nursing homes for long term care. He says the lottery funded “Options” program has had stagnant funding for a number of years and in many counties, there’s already waiting lists for these services.

Landis says keeping people at home where they want to be is better for everyone, including taxpayers. He says we can pay for two and a half people to stay at home, for the cost of one person to have to live in a nursing home. He says the longer they can keep people at home, the better it is for everyone.

Landis says if we don’t do all we can to keep older Pennsylvanians at home, it’s going to cost all of us as taxpayers a lot more money to have people go to nursing homes.

Meanwhile, nursing homes have also expressed concern about the budget proposal, saying cuts in Medicaid reimbursement rates would widen a gap between the cost of care and current reimbursement rates.

Governor Tom Corbett Proposes $27.139 Billion Budget

    Governor Tom Corbett has unveiled his budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The $27.1 billion spending plan comes in $10 million under the current year’s actual budget and represents what the governor calls a realistic budget in difficult times.

    Prior to the Governor’s speech to a joint session of the General Assembly, state Budget Secretary Charles Zogby reported that the projected revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year is up to $719 million, putting more pressure on the governor and lawmakers who will have to craft the next budget.

    While basic education would see a slight increase in its General Fund subsidy, it would all but hold the line from last year’s overall number. The governor took the opportunity during his address to chastise political opponents, saying they misrepresented his education budget last year. The governor says he raised basic ed funding, but the evaporation of federal stimulus dollars results in an overall decrease in spending.

    Governor Corbett is proposing more deep cuts to higher education, which last year was slashed by about 20%. This year, the 14 state-owned universities would see their state funding slashed by another 20% under the governor’s plan. Meanwhile, three of the four state-related universities – Penn State, PITT and Temple – would average 30% cuts. Lincoln University would receive the same funding level as last year. Governor Corbett also announced the formation of a special panel to examine the way higher education is funded in Pennsylvania. He has appointed former state Senator Rob Wonderling to head that committee and report back in November.

    Next up in the state budget process: weeks of budget hearings in Harrisburg, then lawmakers will try to iron out a final spending plan that will be brought to the floors of the House and Senate by June 30th.


Governor Tom Corbett on his budget plan that many people aren’t too pleased with.

<object width=”560″ height=”345″><param name=”movie” value=”;hl=en_US”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”;hl=en_US” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”560″ height=”345″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed></object>