Corbett Cautions Against Spending New Budget Surplus

Pa. Gov. solicits support from small business owners for budget cuts

Tuesday, May 3, 2011  |  Updated 8:34 PM EDT
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Corbett Cautions Against Spending New Budget Surplus

NBCPhiladelphia.com

Gov. Corbett advises against spending state surplus, signals "pain" in budget cuts.

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There's some good news in a report on Pa.'s April tax collections.

The state Revenue Department reported a $506 million surplus as of the end of last month. The figure is up sharply from the projected $78 million Gov. Tom Corbett had expected.

Now, Corbett is cautioning against making plans to spend that surplus, despite optimism from some legislators that the cash could be used to ease cuts he's proposing to education and other areas.

Corbett told a National Federation of Independent Business luncheon in Harrisburg on Tuesday that it might be wiser to keep the money in reserve for a future need, or use it to pay down debt.

“A $4.2 billion revenue shortfall isn’t something we can simply wish away. It has to be cut away, and there are no easy choices when you are cutting that much,” Corbett said.

While Corbett spoke, more than 1,000 people gathered at a labor union-sponsored rally at the Capitol to protest cuts the Republican governor is proposing in education and health care to balance a multibillion-dollar deficit.

Corbett opposes raising taxes, and told the business luncheon that fixing the deficit will require patience and pain from Pennsylvanians.

“There’s no way to do it painlessly," Corbett said. "But the only worse option would be to do nothing.”

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