PA budget deal out, but few details on final changes
by Erika Owens on Sep 18 2009 Posted in Latest news
Gov. Rendell said that he would only sign a budget that did not have any further cuts in education, health care, and economic development and that has enough revenue to balance this year's and next year's budgets. Gov. Rendell said those conditions were met and a budget was decided in "a fair and responsible way." The Republican Senate Appropriations Committee chair, Jake Corman, stressed the budget's strong investments in education.
Unfortunately, the additional funding for Philadelphia from the state for education is still expected to fall as much as $150 million short of what the District had anticipated and budgeted.
According to the Inquirer, Gov. Rendell said the deal would make PA "'one of the few states in ... this horrible recession that is actually increasing funding for education' - by $300 million."
The plan includes increases in business and cigarette sales taxes as well as drawing $1.5 billion from state reserves to meet the $28 billion cost. The plan "also would raise money from legalizing table games at the state's slot-machine casinos, extending the state sales tax to concert and theater tickets and leasing more state forest land for natural gas exploration."
The deal involves a 1% decrease in spending, but details on where those cuts would be made are not yet available.
According to the AP report, "Assuming the agreement holds, that work may take about two weeks before it can be signed by Rendell."
Keep checking the Notebook site for updates on the budget.