June 27, 2015

House Passes $30.1 Billion Republican General Fund Budget Bill 112-77

The House Saturday passed the Senate/House Republican budget in House Bill 1192 (Adolph-R-Delaware) by a vote of 112 to 77 which now goes to the Senate Sunday.  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 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.” Saturday evening, Gov. Wolf said the Republican budget was not balanced and would result in a $3 billion deficit.
House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) 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.”
Republicans pointed to these budget highlights:
— No new taxes or tax increases.
— $30.1 billion in total state spending.
— $100 million new state dollars for basic education that is combined with reforms to the basic education funding formula and improvements in accountability.
— $20 million for special education.
— $30 million for early education, including Pre-K Counts and Head Start.
— $300 million in savings for the state and school districts to pay for capital improvements.
— $41 million across the board for higher education.
— $2.8 million to address avian flu.
— Expanding community-based services for seniors to help keep them in their homes and communities.
— Structural reform to the pension system, which is the No. 1 cost driver for the state and school districts.
— $200 million in additional revenues through liquor reforms.
— Stronger state revenues, meaning the deficit is not at the levels previously anticipated.
A House Republican spreadsheet with General Fund line items is available online.  House Democrats distributed a budget spreadsheet and a staff summary of the Republican budget.
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