June 26, 2015

House Moving $30.1 Billion Republican General Fund Budget Bill

The House Appropriations Committee late Friday evening amended House Bill 1192 (Adolph-R-Delaware) with the Senate/House Republican version of the General Fund budget and reported it to the full House.  It is a $30.1 billion no tax increase state budget, just over $1 billion more than last year.
The intent of Republicans is to move it through the House and Senate and put it on the Governor's desk by the end of June 30.
Gov. Wolf has already put out a statement that said he will veto the GOP’s “gimmick budget.”
House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued this statement:  “The Republican leadership in Harrisburg has made it really easy for Democrats to vote against this sham budget proposal. It does not meet the real needs of Pennsylvania. It cynically continues the gimmicks and make-believe budget ideas of the last four years
“This Republican budget that the House will be asked to vote on Saturday can accurately be labeled as ‘Corbett 5.0,’ but Tom Corbett can’t be blamed for this piece of junk. It lies squarely with the current Republican leadership in the House and Senate.”
Here are some of the highlights of the GOP plan--
-- Dept. of Education-
-- Community Colleges: $222.1 million ($6.4 million more)
-- Community College Capital Fund: $48.8 million (same)
-- Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Lincoln, State System of Higher Ed received more funding
-- Mobile Science and Math Education Programs: $2.1 million ($250,000 more)
-- Boost basic education funding $100 million
-- Judiciary: Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court same as last year
-- Courts of Common Pleas: $7 million more
-- District Justices: $3 million more
-- Philadelphia Courts: same
-- Governor’s Executive Offices: cuts $4 million from last year.
-- Attorney General: adds $3 million from last year
-- State Treasurer: adds $67.3 million from last year
-- Auditor General: adds $1.4 million from last year
-- General Assembly: Senate: $31.3 million more; House: $20.1 million more
A spreadsheet with General Fund line items is available online.
Of course this is just part of the budget.  We are still waiting for what Fiscal Code, Education Code or other legislation will be needed to implement the GOP budget.
The Senate and House also have the primary pension reform and liquor privatization bills on committee agendas over the next two days.
Saturday the House State Government Committee is scheduled to meet at 9:00 a.m. on Senate Bill 1 (Corman-R-Centre) Senate Republican pension reform bill (Senate Fiscal Note and summary) and the Senate Law and Justice Committee is scheduled to meet on Sunday on House Bill 466 (Turzai-R-Allegheny) House Republican liquor privatization bill (House Fiscal Note and summary).
In press statements on a liquor privatization bill that’s coming, Republicans said the proposal will generate $220 million in revenue.
Contrary to earlier statements, Republicans said their budget is also based on structural reform of the state’s pension systems.
The House will be in session Saturday and Sunday.  The Senate Sunday.  Both will be in Monday and Tuesday.
Stay tuned…..
Wolf: GOP Budget Fails To Address My Priorities