May 24, 2011

House Republicans Pass Budget, Democrats Decry Proposal

After more than 8 hours of debate and 74 different speakers (a record Speaker Smith said) on the General Fund Budget bill-- House Bill 1485 (Adolph-R-Delaware), the House voted 109 - 92 to pass the bill and send it to the Senate for their consideration.
           Republicans noted the budget holds the line on taxes, actually increases basic education (minus federal stimulus), mitigates the impact of Gov. Corbett's 50 percent cut to higher education to only 25 percent, increases funding to the Department of Public Welfare (but not as much as Gov. Corbett's proposal) and spends to the cap imposed by Gov. Corbett-- $27.3 billion. And, they said, it will be on-time.
           Democrats said the budget hurts the middle class and the most vulnerable of Pennsylvania's citizens in the face of an excess $500 million in revenues this year and another $500 million more next year.
           Everyone knows this will not be the final budget because the Senate now gets to make its changes.
           Note: House Republicans were actually late in passing their version of the budget this year. House Democrats last year passed a budget bill on March 23-- House Bill 2279 (Evans-D-Philadelphia). Everyone knew that budget wasn't real either.