Lawmakers Take Sides on Proposed Budget

Now that Governor Tom Corbett had his say about his proposed budget, lawmakers will start negotiating what will and will not be in next year’s budget.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle heard a lot of the same Tuesday from Governor Corbett.

While his fellow Republicans support Corbett’s approach to balancing the budget, Democrats said the governor is unfairly balancing the budget on the people who can least afford it.

For the second year in a row Governor Corbett stood in front of lawmakers at the state capitol and proposed more cuts to things such as state higher education and environmental protection in an effort to hold the line on spending.

School districts across the state may have been spared this time around.

“Basic education will be flat funded. I told my school districts that already, that’s what they can expect,” said Republican Senator Gene Yaw of the 23rd District.

Still, some Democrats are skeptical the proposed 2012-2013 budget goes far enough to prevent local districts from raising property taxes.

“The consolidation and whether or not there is a net decrease in state support for public education, I want to look carefully, one thing being said, I want to look behind the numbers,” said Democratic Senator John Blake of the 22nd District.

Both sides will discuss the finer details of the budget now, but for some Democrats, the governor’s starting point, his proposal, shifts the burden to families who want to give their children a college education.

“I’m very concerned about the deep cuts in higher education. That’s going to short change Pennsylvanians’ futures and put a greater burden on Pennsylvania families that want to send their kids off to college, want to give a better chance in life,” said Democratic Senator John Yudichak of the 14th District.

With lagging tax revenue that could put the state several hundred million dollars behind where it expected to be, Republicans echo the governor’s effort to do what it takes to balance the budget, and get the economy moving again.

“If the budget stays within confines of revenue expected, that’s the best way to give the state the opportunity to continue to recover,” said Republican Representative Tina Pickett of the 110th District.

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