Pa. Budget — No New Taxes, But Trim the Fat

Pa. Governor Ed Rendell proposed a multi-billion dollar Pennsylvania budget that he admits will be painful as the state faces tough economic challenges.

The governor delivered his 2009 budget address to the state legislature in Harrisburg Wednesday morning.

The speech called on everyone to share the pain by tightening their belts.

Click here to read the entire budget transcript.

The budget totals $29 billion. But isn't calling for any broad-based tax increases.

Rendell's proposal saves nearly a billion dollars by cutting over 100 line items from the budget.

The budget calls for a $300-million dollar increase for public education. But, the governor proposes consolidating school districts, eliminating 400 of the state's 500 districts to improve efficiency.
There are also cuts in spending on higher education and the state health department.

The plan is also to raise the state cigarette tax by 10 cents to $1.45 a pack.

Don't expect new taxes.

"One thing this budget doesn't do.  It does not require a tax increase on hard working Pennsylvania families it does not require a personal income tax, state sales tax or any business tax increase," said Rendell

The budget still must be approved.

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