Story Summary

2013 PA State Budget


Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates
Local News

New Budget Helps PA Mom And Pop Shops

Small businesses in Pennsylvania are getting some relief when it comes to tax elimination because of the new state budget.

It takes the stress off new business owners in Cumberland County.. and who inherit a mom and pop shop.

People have been bringing their laundry to Dale Kaplan’s Careful Cleaners here in Camp Hill for the past 35 years.

Kaplan says the state’s new fiscal plan will help keep his business doors open when he’s not around anymore.

He’s feeling relief with a the tax cleared off the board.

Before the Governor signed off on the budget Sunday night, Kaplan wasn’t sure his daughter would be able to handle a loss due to a state required inheritance tax.

He says the state legislature finally “gets it”.

“You want to see job creation you want to see people be able to expand their business not have to pay out a tax to the state government,” says Dale Kaplan.

That reason is exactly why Representative Stephen Bloom (R) sponsored the bill in the first place.

“I saw how expensive and difficult it was to try to plan to keep that business going so this for me was kind of a labor of love I really care about these small businesses,” says Bloom.

Kaplan’s daughter, Alana has been helping her father since before she could walk.

She says she can’t imagine working anywhere else.

“I think that I’d end up having to sell the business just to make ends meet and make it work,” says Alana Kaplan.

With this tax elimination, these mom and pop shops can add new positions they won’t have to cut later.

“It’s a cycle that builds itself and I’m excited to be apart of it,” says Bloom.

Had state legislators not nixed the 4.5% inheritance tax, some of Dale Kaplan’s 19 employee’s could’ve eventually had their jobs at stake.

Now Kaplan says luckily that’s not the case anymore.

The tax cut applies to mom and pop shops with less than 5 million dollars in assets.

Bloom says small businesses create about 65% of jobs here in Pennsylvania.

Local News

Gov. Corbett Signs PA Budget

The state budget has been passed by both the House and Senate.

Lawmakers made it official.

And so did Governor Tom Corbett when he signed on the dotted line shortly after 10 on Sunday night.

While the budget process really was a waiting game, many didn’t expect the House to pass the budget so early into the evening.

As discussions continued, many democratic representatives spoke out in opposition of the budget and what it entails.

While obviously the vote wasn’t split down the middle, legislators still plan on focusing attention to these highly debated topics even though the state now has a plan going forward.

A $28.37 billion dollar budget bill which raises spending by 2.3 percent sat on the desks of each state representatives.

Although not all concur, state leaders say the current plan gets the job done.

“There’s a lot of good in the budget,” says Democratic Sen. Rob Teplitz.

Democrats complain education funding is weak.

“At the end of the day not enough money invested in public education,” says Teplitz.

“I think this is a very good budget for education of course people can complain the bottom line is 100 million more dollars in funding for k-12,” says Republican Rep. Sheryl Delozier.

Although the legislature goes into recess after the budget was signed, these hot button issues don’t die as of midnight.

“It would’ve been nice to get done this week but we’ve been under this system for about 80 years if it takes a couple more months that’s fine we’ll continue to work on it,” says Republican Sen. Jake Corman.

Emotional discussion was more directed towards transportation funding.

The right blames the left for holding the bill hostage and forgoing negotiations.

There’s many projects across our state that need to get done,” says Delozier.

Liquor privatization weighs heavily as state employed workers swarmed the Capitol lobby this evening waiting for answers.

“It’s something that would be good for the entire state those are the types of big wins we should be getting for the state of PA and not fighting these decisive ideological fights like liquor,” says Teplitz.

“48 other states have been able to accomplish this I think Pennsylvania should be able to accomplish this,” says Delozier.

Had the budget not passed this evening Delozier says some state employees may have been the victim of furloughs.

As Governor Corbett signed the budget he said, “we are making progress, we are moving forward.”

Local News

State budget passes before deadline

Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett reached a deal on a $28.37 billion budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year Saturday night, finalizing a spending plan that is less austere than the past couple of years.

Lawmakers reached an agreement a little more than a day before the new fiscal year begins. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill Saturday night, setting it up for a Senate vote Sunday. The state House of Representatives is preparing to vote on the bill Sunday as well.

For more on this story click here.

Local News

Budget Secretary speaks about pension reform

With the state budget due in less than two weeks – one of the big issues on the table is pension reform.  Today, the Senate Finance Committee voted to shift most future state and public school employees into at 401-k style retirement plan in 2015. It would keep the traditional plan pension plan for state police and corrections officers. And it would switch over current lawmakers, judges, and executive branch officials if re-elected to the 401-K plan.

Kathy Jellison president of the Service Employees International Union says the plan is irresponsible. She’s concerned about enticing people to work in the private sector without the promise of a pension.

“At the end you have a decent not an extravagant, the average is 24,000 dollars or less pension at the end compensates that state employees make less then the private sector,” says Jellison

Fox43 sat down with Budget Secretary Charles Zogby who says this plan is a step in the right direction.

“ We will be providing a very good retirement benefit we will be running a 60 million dollar enterprise in state government that he have to run. It`s important we attract new talent in the state government with the plan we offer it ranks up there with private sector employment plans,” says Zogby

Pension reform just one of many issues including transportation, and liquor privatization that need to be dealt with by the state`s June 30  deadline  which would be the Governor’s third budget.

“ The Governor is focused on doing the business that the people sent him here to do. He`s keeping the promises he made,” says Zogby

This is the first hurdle that the 401-k based plan had to go through. It now has to get through the Senate Appropriations Committee before it gets to the Senate floor.

Governor Corbett’s plan for pension reform is on the list in the state’s budget for next year. But a new study done in the capitol city suggests cutting pensions can directly affect the local economy. The study done by Keystone Research Center shows that in Pennsylvania, Dauphin and Lancaster counties draw in some of the high numbers when it comes to pension money going directly back into the economy.

At the Lyndon Diner in Lancaster, a large number of their customers are at the age of retirement.  Manager Kyle Wolf says a pension reform could hurt his business.

“ Some of the regulars just come in and get coffee and tea and they`re definitely strapped for cash here. It could definitely have an effect on business, “ says Wolf

The Pennsylvania state budget is due at the end of June. To see the full study click here :

The Pennsylvania House approved a $28.3 billion state budget plan for upcoming fiscal year Wednesday afternoon at the state capitol. The House plan increases state spending by more than $500 million without increasing the burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers.  House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) called it is a fiscally responsible plan that meets the Commonwealth’s needs without spending beyond the government’s means.

The House budget now moves to the state Senate for consideration. A final spending plan must be approved before the June 30th end of the fiscal year.



It’s budget time again at the State Capitol. This year, cash is going to programs that were lacking last year.  The House of Representatives pushed their vote on this budget to Wednesday. It’s a more than 280 billion dollar budget that is giving extra cash to programs in need. It calls for extra money toward autism and intellectual disability services.  The Department of Public Welfare happy to have get the news as their department took a big hit last year. Specifically, the cash would go to people on a waiting list for services  to help them live more independent lives.

“ Someone with autism may need daily help to get through their day. It might be custodial help to get them through their home they might need medical help or therapy,  “ said Anne Bale with the Department of Public Welfare

Also seeing more founding would be the State Police. The plan is to add 300 troopers to the force. State Representative Seth Grove says  this would allow current troopers to get back on the street instead of having to do administrative work they are currently doing.

Harrisburg -

Twenty-four days and counting until the state budget is due and negotiations are starting to heat up at the Capitol.  House Republicans and Senate Democrats have authored plans to rival Governor Tom Corbett’s $28.4 billion spending proposal.

If nothing else, the press is on to make sure a spending plan gets passed on time.  Governor Tom Corbett and the Republican-controlled General Assembly want to make an on-time budget a priority.  However, each of the sides is taking sides with the knowledge that much work must be done to get a plan in place before July 1.

capitolThe clock is ticking on the state budget deadline.  Twenty-four days and counting and still no deal.

“It’s a very responsible budget, it’s a fair budget,” said Bill Adolph, (R) Delaware County on May 29 after the House Republicans released their budget plan.

House Republicans released their budget plan last week, tweaking Governor Tom Corbett’s $28.4 billion spending proposal.  The House Republicans are looking to add 300 new state troopers, while spending about a $100 million more on education than the Governor.

“It does well in terms of public education.  It increases spending by about 2.1 percent and we’re proud of the product that we’re going to be putting out,” Adolph said.

“The Senate Democratic plan is fully paid for and its balanced,” said Senator Jay Costa, (D) Allegheny County.

The Senate Democrats jumped into the budget fracas Monday, releasing a $28.5 billion spending plan that focuses on spending over $200 million dollars more on education than the Governor, while cutting a broad-based business tax that the Republicans favor.

“This budget that we are offering up today is an issue of prioritizing, prioritizing job creation and prioritizing education as the two main pillars,” said Senator Vincent Hughes, (D) Montgomery County.

Both of these plans are similar to Governor Tom Corbett’s proposal which was released in February.  The Governor is offering a no-tax increase budget.  However, neither House Republicans nor Senate Democrats are looking to tackle the big three at this point, pension reform, liquor privatization and transportation funding.

The House Appropriations Committee passed the House Republican’s plan on Monday, sending it to the full House for a vote.  That vote is expected as early as Monday.  With a Republican controlled House, it’s expected to pass. 

The Revenue Secretary is speaking about the Governor’s proposal in Lancaster County today, trying to drum up support for the plan in time to get the bill passed by June 30.

Local News

Republicans Unveil Budget

State House Republicans unveiling their 2013 – 2014 budget proposal in Harrisburg Wednesday.  The plan spends $28.3 billion which is an increase of $578 million from this year.  Republicans are recommending a $100 million increase for basic education and supporting the governor’s plan of adding 300 new state police troopers.  A new budget needs to be approved and in place by July 1st.