Pa. Budget and the Role of State Government

Pa. governor calls for ‘changing the culture’ of state spending

For the second year in a row Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett presented a state budget to the General Assembly with no tax increases.

The Republican governor’s $27.1 billion fiscal 2012-13 budget contains administrative cost-cutting, spending to promote job growth and money to hire 115 new State Troopers.

But proposals to transform education and welfare spending are already drawing fire.

Democrats say the budget guts support for higher education, reducing by 20 to 30 percent money to state-run and state-related universities.

On a taping of NBC10 @ Issue with Steve Highsmith, State Rep. William Adolph (R-Pa. 165th District) and State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Pa. 7th District, discussed the upcoming budget debate, including questions about education funding. Hughes is the Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Adolph chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

“First of all, this is a blueprint,” said Rep. Adolph. “We have to see what the revenues are between now and, say, May 31st. There's an awful lot of support for higher education in Pennsylvania.”

Sen. Hughes wondered “where do we want our education system to be?” “Strong education systems allow the economy to move forward, weak education systems allow the economy to come apart,” said Hughes. “We've got 11 school districts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania [that] are crumbling right in front of our eyes because of a lack of state support.”

See the full interview on NBC10 @ Issue, Sunday, Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m.

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