Lawmakers React to Proposed Budget

HARRISBURG — Now that Governor Tom Corbett has made his budget proposal, the debate in Harrisburg can begin.

“I’m disappointed. We’ve got a little more of the same,” Senator John Yudichak (D) said.

“I was really impressed,” Senator Gene Yaw (R) said.

Protests rang out inside the State Capitol rotunda during the budget address. Once things quieted down, state lawmakers voiced their opinions on the proposed spending plan.

Additional funding to public schools drew applause from Republicans.

“He put $20 million in for special education, so I’m hoping that’s going to go for those families who have children with autism and intellectual disabilities,” Representative Tarah Toohil (R) said.

“The governor mentioned the increased pressure on the school district property tax. In the district that I represent, that is the number one issue,” Senator Dave Argall (R) said.

…but not from Democrats.

“The increases in education are not nearly enough to offset the over $2 billion in cuts we have seen over the past three years,” Senator John Blake (D) said.

In addition to a big portion of the proposed budget being about education, local lawmakers also weighed in on what the governor had to say about jobs.

“I think we have to start to ask ourselves honestly what’s happening with job creating? We’re still 47th in the country,” Representative Rick Mirabito (D) said.

Corbett’s budget proposal expands drilling in state parks and forests, which is something Republican State Senator Gene Yaw supports.

“The drilling that has already gone on in the state forest in my district occupies less than two percent. That includes pipelines, well pads and everything. Managed properly, I think that it can co-exist,” Yaw said.

But some Democrats say the governor had a political agenda instead of a budget address.

“He was talking about the next election rather than talking about investing in Pennsylvanians,” Yudichak said.

All of Governor Corbett’s budget proposals need to go through the senate and the house. The Republicans and Democrats will now start to debate what will be in the 2014-2015 budget, which is due by the end of June.

3 comments

  • scarolina

    Jenna, must be a Leftists Liberal that cannot face the facts of her liberal elected officials are actually responsible for this funding debacle and not Governor Corbett who is trying to straighten this out and there will some hard pills to swallow in the process. Thank your Liberal elected officials for spending temporary funding on annual recurring costs instead one time costs all just for the election and reelection votes from people like you. Makes perfect sense to me to put like minded candidates back in office that brought us to this point to start with. Wake up Jenna and smell the roses because they are dying. New ones are coming on the bush which are the more responsible ones dedicated to fiscal responsibility and move to get the taxpayers out of this nightmare we are in. The silent majority is waking up.

  • scarolina

    The education funding problem can be laid directly at prior Democrats legislators and governor feet. This happen when they received Federal funding to the tune of 1-2 billion dollars. The elected officials at the time decided in their infinite wisdom to treat this funding as permanent source instead of a temporary source, for this exact reason when the Federal funding stopped the taxpayer would be stuck making up the shortage. The Federal funding should have spent on one time school expenses “ONLY”, eg new school buildings, new books, new teaching equipment, and new school buses, etc. Then when the additional funding ended there would not be a taxpayer obligation to makeup the difference as we have today. This deficit was accomplished by applying these added revenues instead towards added teachers and administrative pay raises and benefits “RECURRING COSTS” . Thank you Democrats for the added tax liability just for the reelection votes. Mr. Corbett is just trying to correct the mess that was left to him by the prior administration.

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