June 4, 2014:
Final revenue numbers are coming in short of projections as Representatives and Senators begin hammering out the details of the next budget.
Budget Secretary Charles Zogby had this to say in a recent interview:
"If you just did a budget within the existing revenues…. you’d have no new funding for basic education (k-12), no new funding for higher education, no new funding to reduce waiting lists for those with intellectual disabilities, and we’d still probably have to go back and look at further cuts to balance."
Cuts to the proposed budget would be between $100 million and $250 million depending on what dodgy accounting maneuvers are employed. One of the more popular suggestions is underfund the (already underfunded) state employee and teacher retirement fund by $170 million. That suggestion is running into some resistance in the House, thankfully.
Do not be surprised when you start hearing terms like "austerity budget" bandied about by the press and some members of the General Assembly. They are warning, again, that there simply is not any room left to cut in a $28 billion budget and that somehow all of this spending is essential. It is worth pointing out that it took over two hundred years for the state budget to reach $20 billion. After eight years of Ed Rendell and compliant Republicans in the House and Senate that number jumped 40 percent.
As we showed last week, Pennsylvania is currently spending $700 million per year in corporate welfare. The largest single recipient of that largess is the "Race Horse Development Fund" at $250 million. Furthermore, it is worth asking if times were so tight was it a good idea to reallocate $22 million in unused film tax credits to bail out movie and television projects filled in Pennsylvania.
We would strongly encourage you to contact your Representative and Senator and tell them that Pennsylvania Government needs to prioritize spending just like you do.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania | P.O. Box 6726 | Harrisburg | PA | 17112