2010-2011 PA Budget: What’s being said?


Yesterday, Governor Rendell signed the $28 Billion 2010-2011 state budget. With all sorts of media coverage on the budget process and implications, it can be challenging to keep it all straight. Here is a brief overview of some of the information that is out there. If you have additional links, feel free to post them below.

KDKA- The local ‘CBS 2’ news station out of Pittsburgh provides a short and to-the-point overview of the budget.

• About 1% increase over last year’s budget
• No income or sales tax increase
• No increase in cigarette tax
• No new tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco
• New severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling
• Government operating costs 14% lower than in Rendell’s first year in office
• Basic education subsidy to school districts will increase 4.5% ($250M)

Morning Call- The Morning Call briefly discusses the budget’s increase in education support and the cut funding to libraries, state parks/forests, and environmental protection efforts. Mostly, the MC focuses on the two construction projects approved for honoring Senators Spector and Murtha. Critics argue that now is a bad time to spend state funds on such projects while the Governor contends that the money is “bond money” (which cannot be used for operating expenses) and will generate jobs.

Philadelphia Inquirer– The Inquirer outlines the discussion that has broken out following the signed budget. The article focuses on the $20 million allotted for new construction honoring Senators Murtha and Spector, and $141 million for projects in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. All $161 million of this money comes from the $600 million pot of bond money, of which the Governor decides how to spend half. All $161 million of budgeted spending has also been criticized by those who feel that construction of such projects is untimely or not appropriately detailed. The article also provides a succinct overview of some of the key budget details:

The $28 billion state budget that Rendell signed Tuesday holds the line on spending, adds no new taxes, makes cuts across most state agencies, and anticipates layoffs of about 1,000 state workers. It also relies on $850 million in additional federal Medicaid funding that has not yet been approved by Congress and faces an uphill battle when members return to work later this month.

Patriot News- In this article, the Patriot-News Editorial Board lays out some next steps for PA legislators following the completion of the budget. Included in the discussion are transportation concerns, juvenile justice, and texting bans.

PR Newswire- “Governor Rendell Signs Jobs Bill to Spur $1.2 Billion Investment in PA’s Economy, Create 18,000 Jobs” PR Newswire details a bill signed as a part of the 2010-2011 budget package authorizing funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The Governor claims that this program will have a positive impact on every region of the commonwealth.

This only covers some of what is being said. If you have seen other coverage that does a great job of articulating the details of the budget or highlights the implications of certain content, please post it as a comment below.

To access the actual 2010-2011 budget signed on July 6, 2010, it is available on the Governor’s Budget Office Website.

Comments?

Posted on July 7, 2010, in Education, Health, Media Coverage, Municipal Government, Public Infrastructure, Regions, Transportation, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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