Here are five things everyone should know about Gov. Corbett’s proposed Pennsylvania state budget.
- Reduces overall spending. Both the General Fund and the total operating budgethave been cut – for the 2nd consecutive year, and only the second time in more than 40 years.
- Spends more than revenue. The state began this fiscal year (2011-12) with a $1 billion General Fund balance, but spending will be $1.2 billion more than expected revenues. The 2012-13 proposed budget continues this trend, spending $79 million more than forecasted revenues.
- Debt and pension payments continue to rise. Debt payments will increase by $73 million. Pension payments for school districts will increase by $316 million, and pension costs for state workers will grow by more than $200 million.
- Corrections spending is level funded. Corrections spending grew 17-fold since 1980, fueled by a 500 percent increase in the number of prisoners. Gov. Corbett’s budget begins the systemic reform needed to slow that trend without compromising safety.
- Welfare spending is reduced. But Medical Assistance (the largest share) increases by $210 million, while other programs are cut by $300 million.
Click here for more on the Pennsylvania state budget.