Governor Tom Corbett's 2011-2012 Budget…Time for a Reality Check!
After much anticipation, Governor Tom Corbett announced his budget which has a price tag of $27.3 billion…which conforms to Corbett's campaign pronouncements. His budget, as proposed, holds the line on taxes and cuts $866 million from the state's 2008-2009 levels.
When Corbett took over the Governor’s chair, he was faced with an unprecedented $4.1 billion deficit and vowed to bring the state’s finances back in line as the first step in reducing the deficit. He called his proposed budget “reality-based”.
Needless to say, when a budget is cut so dramatically, there are going to be some unhappy faces. Where to cut and what to cut is the real trick. As one legislator said: "It’s just a case of whose bull is being gored."
Corbett had said that he was going to do his best to reverse the state’s financial deficit which has been the result of several years of unbalanced budgets – spending more than the state takes in.
Some of Corbett's proposed cuts brought howls of protest from the program sponsors being affected. Education was the primary target in the Corbett budget including a school employee wage freeze.
An overall review of the Corbett proposed budget shows a decrease in spending of about 3 percent. The state anticipates $27.3 billion in taxes, fees and other state revenue.
The proposed budget shows a 52 percent reduction – or $62.5 million – for the state-owned universities in the state system of higher education – plus Pitt, Temple, Penn State, and Lincoln.
On the other side there is a 7% increase in the $11.2 billion for the Department of Public Welfare which includes health care for the poor, child care, and services for the disabled. As we previously stated, there’s no way of cutting the state's budget without affecting someone.
State Senator Kim Ward had this response…"We have to dig our way out of our own problems. Pennsylvania must live within its financial means. For the past eight years the previous administration has taxed, borrowed, and irresponsibly spent the state into a financial mess."
The next step is a vote on Corbett's budget by the state legislature which has a June 30th. deadline.
No one ever said that running a state is an easy job!
Robert W. Dickey
President & General Manager
Broadcast: March 11,12,13, 2011
In the wake of the hazing death of Timothy Piazza two lawsuits have been filed against Penn State alleging university officials failed to respond appropriately to persistent problems with hazing and alcohol use at its fraternities. Grand jury report found "a permissive atmosphere fostered by the Pennsylvania State University Interfraternity Council" led to Piazza's death. Penn State did halt pledging and enacted restrictions on alcohol consumption and social functions within its Greek community. However both LSU and Texas State temporarily suspended all Greek activities from campus after students recently died of alcohol poisoning at their schools.
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