It’s the beginning of what will be a five-month battle about Pennsylvania’s finances. Governor Tom Corbett will release his 2013/2014 state budget today in front of the general assembly in Harrisburg.
Budget discussions are always a hot topic here at the State Capitol, especially when the economy is sluggish. Governor Tom Corbett will release his 2013/2014 spending plan this morning to a hungry group of state senators and representatives. And while the bill is not expected to include any tax hikes, where your money is heading is sure to be debated over the next several months.
Money talks are set to dominate the State Capitol today as Governor Tom Corbett will release his third budget. The spending proposal is expected to hover around the total cost of last year’s $27.7 billion plan.
“Hopefully we’re going have positive news to say in the budget for the first time in my three years of presenting the budget. We are all watching the economy,” said Governor Corbett during an interview with WPMT FOX43 in January.
Governor Corbett is expected to focus the 2013/2014 budget on education, transportation and pension reform. The Commonwealth is staring down a billion dollars in extra costs because of rising pension, debt and prison obligations.
“We have been able to have balanced budgets on time with no new tax increases and in fact, spend less than we spent 4 years ago,” Corbett said.
Recently, the Governor has talked about the need to improve Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges with a plan focused on the wholesale fuel tax. But the plan and the numbers still remain a mystery.
“We’re going be dealing with transportation, you’ll hear us make an announcement on transportation,” said Corbett.
Education funding will also be a hot topic. State universities are expected to get little to no extra money compared to last year. Public education is hoping to get a little bump in spending. The Governor hopes to push the economy forward over his next two years.
“Last year, between the two years that I’ve been Governor, we’ve grown the private sector jobs in PA by 108,000 new jobs in PA,” Corbett said.
Of course, this is simply a framework for the next several months of budget talks and negotiations. The final plan will probably look a little different after both sides of the General Assembly come to an agreement on some issues. That agreement will need to happen by July 1.