As we head into months of meetings, hearings, and special interest protests at the Capitol, here are five must-know facts about Governor Corbett’s budget proposal:
- “Recommends against” an unaffordable and unsustainable Medicaid expansion. Gov. Corbett’s proposal refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. An expansion would have cost state taxpayers billions in additional costs over the next few years, on top of new federal taxes, and would put more families into a failed program that offers low-quality care and long wait times.
- Would end the government-run monopoly over wine and liquor sales. Gov. Corbett proposes selling private licenses for new wine & spirits stores, allowing grocery stores and convenience stores to sell wine and beer—delivering Pennsylvanians the convenience they demand.
- Creates an affordable and predictable retirement plan for new employees, removing politics from pensions. Gov. Corbett would put all new state and school employees into a 401(a) plan, similar to a 401(k), in which taxpayer costs are capped. His plan does not adequately address the current pension bomb—kicking the can down the road—but his proposed reforms will stop throwing more workers into an unsustainable system and end the political manipulation of pension plans.
- Spending is at an all-time high. Governor Corbett’s proposed General Fund and total operating budget both represent record levels of spending ($28.4 billion and $66.7 billion, respectively). Spending on K-12 education and public welfare are at record highs—even exceeding periods when billions in temporary federal stimulus funds were spent.
When budget gimmicks are factored in (supplemental appropriations and shifts to other funds), the spending increase exceeds inflation plus population growth.
- It spends more than we make. Proposed General Fund spending is $514 million more than total revenue.