Governor Tom Corbett presented his state budget proposal in Harrisburg Tuesday, asking for cuts in state spending and no new taxes.
After big cuts last year, many school districts, colleges and social agencies were fearing Tuesday’s budget address by Governor Corbett.
This year the big impacts the governor wants are on the state universities and the state welfare system.
Corbett first honored state troopers from Lycoming County for rescues during the historic September flooding, a soldier from Luzerne County injured at war and a moment of silence for the passing of Joe Paterno.
Then he got down to business.
“I am submitting to you a budget proposal that is at once lean and demanding. In the coming weeks, we will sit down to work out the final details as we map our course, but this map comes with boundaries. We will not spend more than we have,” Corbett told lawmakers.
Here are the main highlights of the governor’s $27.14 billion budget proposal.
- $33 million less in state spending than last year
- No tax increases
- Few state job cuts
“It is a budget that proposes more in the way of reforms by continuing to change the culture of government from one of entitlement to one of enterprise,” the governor said.
After big cuts last year, a lot of eyes were on the governor’s proposals for education. He is calling for no cuts to basic education, that’s the funding for school districts.
He is calling for cuts to higher education, a 30 percent cut in state funding to Penn State, Pitt and Temple and a 20 percent cut to state-owned universities including Bloomsburg and East Stroudsburg.
The governor told lawmakers he is creating a panel to find ways to make universities more cost-effective.
“We need to have a candid conversation about how to best deal with the spiraling costs and our own obligations,” Corbett said.
The governor proposes cost cuts to many state agencies, including the legislature and his own administration.
In the last month the state announced stricter state standards for food stamp ACCESS cards. Now the governor wants more welfare reforms. He pitched a welfare overhaul that gives more incentive for people to try get back to work, and less state cash if they don’t.
“All of these adjustments have been done with an abiding belief that the best route from the welfare line to the work line is by focusing on job creation. There is no other sensible way,” Corbett said.