June 29, 2013

Senate, House Republicans, Governor Reach Agreement On Budget

This evening, Senate and House Republicans and Gov. Corbett announced they reached agreement on a $28.3 billion state spending plan, slightly less than the Governor’s $28.4 billion proposed budget.  The agreed-to budget represents a 2.3 percent increase in spending over the current year budget.
House Bill 1437 (Adolph-R- Delaware) was then amended with the new FY 2013-14 General Fund budget and reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The full Senate expects to take up the measure tomorrow first thing (11:00 a.m.).  The House is expected to vote Sunday evening, just making the June 30 midnight deadline.
For its part, the House did not take up the transportation funding bill-- Senate Bill 1 (Rafferty-R- Montgomery)-- as expected, waiting, it was reported, for the Senate to take up the liquor privatization bill-- House Bill 790 (Turzai-R-Allegheny).
There was no action on the liquor privatization bill in the Senate today.
The Senate Appropriations Committee did report out legislation-- House Bill 1075 (Moul-R-Adams)-- directing the Governor to enter into an agreement to expand Medicaid (among other changes to the Welfare Code) which was a major priority of Senate and House Democrats. 
House Republicans vow to prevent any floor vote on the bill if it returns to the House for concurrence.
Meanwhile, pension reform is still nowhere.
There is no word yet on budget-related changes to the Tax Code, Fiscal Code or Education Code.
Click Here for the agency-by-agency budget spreadsheet which compares current year funding, the Governor’s request and the agreed-to budget numbers.  Some highlights include--
Community College - $212.1 million (same as last year)
Community College Capital Fund- $48.8 million ($1 million more than last year)
Regional Community Colleges- $1.2 million (same as last year)
Community Education Councils- $2.3 million ($500,000 more than last year)
Rail Freight Assistance- $5.7 million cut from last year (drilling fees fund this program)
Rail Freight and Intermodal Coordination- $868,000 ($13,000 more than last year)
Overall- $8.1 million more than last year
Supreme Court- $1.3 million more than last year
Superior- $792,000 more than last year
Commonwealth- $482,000 more than last year
Attorney General- $9.1 million more than last year
Auditor General- $2.3 million more than last year
State Treasurer- $476,000 more than last year in office operations