Governor Tom Corbett released his $27 billion dollar proposed budget for 2012-13 Tuesday morning. He says the budget puts Pennsylvania on the road to financial recovery. It includes no tax increases but does include cuts to state higher education and the Department of Public Welfare.
Addressing the General Assembly, Corbett outlined his plan to cut $33 million in annual spending.
“This is the road to recovery and we are on it,” Governor Corbett says.
Education is facing big cuts: 20% to state universities and 30% to state related universities.
“It’d be devastating it’ll only drive up tuition to middle class families, and right now that’s a prescription for our kids not getting ahead,” says State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, (D) 95th District.
The proposed budget also calls for eliminating the state funded cash assistance program from the Department of Welfare. The Governor says it would crack down on fraud and waste in the welfare system. Some Democrats say it could hurt the most vulnerable in our state.
“We need to make sure those who really need the help and the assistance, don’t get left behind,” says State Sen. Tim Solobay, (D) 46th District.
Corbett proposes a ‘Jobs First Plan’ which includes Keystone Works, providing $2.5 million for employer driven training opportunities for unemployed workers.
The budget also calls for 650 state jobs to be cut, most of those positions are vacant.
“I think tax payers don’t have any more to give. I think he’s made a good proposal with revenues that we’ve got coming into the state,” says Matthew Brouillette, Commonwealth Foundation President.
Many Democrats we spoke with are concerned with what wasn’t in the budget. They wanted to see more on transportation funding.
“I also thought a very incomplete transportation funding we all know they need to do a better job on infrastructure on, but there were no details from the governor on how to get there,” says Rep. DePasquale.
The budget is only a proposal. The final state budget is due in June and has to be approved by state lawmakers.