Where Did $11 Billion Go?

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

Where Did the Invisible $11 Billion Go?
Education, welfare, health care and corrections

JUNE 23, 2010 | by JIM PANYARD

In the spring of 1980, the Pittsburgh Pirates had won a World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies were about to and Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh was going to sign a state General Fund operating budget of $6.8 billion.

Inflation adjusted for 2009, that figure would be $17.4 billion today.
In the spring of 2010, the Phillies have been dethroned as baseball champions, the Pirates are a National League doormat and Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell is haggling with the General Assembly over a General Fund operating budget expected to be between $28 and $29 billion.

The new budget will be about 69 percent more in real dollars than the 1980-81 budget.

In the 30 years between Mr. Thornburgh’s first budget and what will be Mr. Rendell’s last, real state spending has generally doubled or tripled the annual rates of inflation, with the biggest hike of 10.4 percent coming under late Gov. Bob Casey in the 1991-92 budget and the smallest increase, a hold-the-line budget during the administration of outgoing Gov. Mark Schweiker in 2002-03. Mr. Rendell says Mr. Schweiker actually left him with a $2.4 billion deficit and state budgets have been known to cover many sins. Click here to read more.

State Senate Moves to Block REAL ID Act
Wants PA to fight privacy invasion, unfunded mandate

JUNE 18, 2010 | by DARWYYN DEYO

Pennsylvania moved closer this week to joining 27 other states across the country in opposing the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The "REAL ID Nonparticipation Act" was passed by the state Senate and is now moving to the state House.

Introduced by state Sen. Mike Folmer (R – Berks), the bill states neither the governor nor the Department of Transportation, or any other commonwealth agency, will comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005 "or regulations promulgated thereunder."

The REAL ID Act was passed as part of an appropriations bill to fund relief for the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, a move Mr. Folmer described as "sneaky." The REAL ID Act would require all American citizens to carry a national ID card, in lieu of a state ID. Click here to read more.

More Stories:

State Legislature Playing Chicken With Tobacconists | June 24, 2010
Marcellus Shale Misinformation Continues | June 24, 2010
Governor Dismisses Spending Cut Ideas | June 24, 2010
Fund Balance Transfers Eyed to Close $1.3 Billion Deficit | June 24, 2010
Budget Discussions Focus on $28.2 Billion Spending Plan | June 23, 2010
State Employment Down, Less than Private Sector | June 23, 2010
DCED Re-Launches PASiteSearch.com | June 23, 2010
SERS Gained Ground in 2009, Still Underfunded | June 23, 2010
Where Did the Invisible $11 Billion Go? | June 23, 2010
Retiring Lawmakers Predict Tough Future | June 23, 2010
Politicians Silent on Family Court Mess | June 22, 2010
House Republicans Challenge Rendell on Education Spending | June 22, 2010
Environmentalists Want More Regulations on Drilling | June 22, 2010
House Bill Redirects Horse Racing Funds | June 22, 2010
House Says No Investments in Iran, Sudan | June 22, 2010
Tax Amnesty Closed Deficit by $50 Million | June 21, 2010
Onorato Wants 14 Debates with Corbett | June 21, 2010
Turzai Touts Liquor Privatization Plan | June 21, 2010
DEP Forces Erie Coke to Pay | June 21, 2010
Inquirer: Chief Justice Should Resign | June 21, 2010
Government Employment Sees Huge Increase | June 18, 2010
Strict Regulations Passed for Gas Drilling Wastewater | June 18, 2010
Mike Veon Given 6-14 Years in Prison | June 18, 2010
State Senate Moves to Block REAL ID Act | June 18, 2010
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