PA House GOP Outlines Budget Proposal

The House Republicans unveiled their Pennsylvania State Budget Proposal yesterday, HB 1485.  The bill is set for an Appropriations Committee vote this week, and a full House vote this month.

Compared to Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget, General Fund spending is virtually the same (about $700,000 less $600,000 difference) at $27.3 billion. There are several changes in how that spending breaks down:

  • A $210 million increase in K-12 education from the Governor’s proposal, including $100 million in the basic education subsidy and $100 for the Accountability Grants program. (Read more on Education Spending here).
  • An additional $184 million for “State-related universities”—Penn State, Temple, University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University—and an increase of $195 million for the State System of Higher Education. (Read more on Higher Education Spending here).
  • A reduction of $51 million from DCED spending—eliminating or reducing a number of “economic development” programs (i.e., corporate welfare).  There are other cuts to discretionary pork programs, include Grants to the Arts and Industry Partnerships.
  • Reductions in most departments General Government Operations line items (i.e., administrative costs).
  • An $11 million (3.7 percent) reduction in the General Assembly’s own budget.
  • A $471 million (4.2 percent) reduction from the Governor’s proposed budget in Public Welfare.  The bulk of this in Medical Assistance (Medicaid) line items.

The House Republican’s budget plan counts on savings in welfare through recipient co-pays for transportation and child care programs, increased use of generic drugs and primarily through their package of proposals deemed to reduce welfare fraud.  Based on audits from Auditor General Jack Wagner, payments to ineligible welfare recipients could cost Pennsylvania taxpayers upwards of $1 billion per year.

None of the other funds included in the appropriations bills changes much from the Governor’s proposal.  Click here for a quick overview of the budget, including a breakdown of spending by fund type.

Here is a spreadsheet of the line items in the House GOP proposal, as prepared by House Democrat Appropriations Committee staff. from the House Republicans. 

(Editors Note: The original spreadsheet, used in preparing this analysis, had a typo or math error in the final spend number)

PA House GOP Budget Spreadsheet 2011