Pa. Legislature approves $29B budget, governor won’t sign

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The Republican-controlled Legislature approved a $29.1 billion budget late Monday night, but Gov. Tom Corbett (R) says he’s not ready to sign off on it.

In a statement, Corbett said, “I will continue to work with the legislature toward meaningful pension reform. I am withholding signing the budget passed by the General Assembly while I deliberate its impact on the people of Pennsylvania.”

Corbett had aggressively pitched a pension-reform proposal in the weeks leading up to the budget deadline.

“For the single parent who struggles to pay the bills every day, for the child going to school who deserves a quality education, for the elderly couple living on a fixed income, I will continue to fight for pension reform and real relief for Pennsylvania’s taxpayers,” he said. “Every dollar saved through pension reform is a dollar we have to invest in Pennsylvania’s children, to reduce waiting lists for much-needed services for our most vulnerable, and to make improvements to our public safety system.”

Before this year, the budget had been approved on time each year Corbett has been governor.

The budget does not include any tax increases. Democrats criticized it for failing to provide enough funding for education as well as using one-time money transfers, what they called “gimmicks,” to close the deficit.

All the Democrats in both the House and the Senate voted against the budget plan.

“A lot of different funds were tapped into. Money was moved around, assumptions were made about what the situation would like look a year from now in order to make the budget look balanced on paper, but it may not actually turn out to be the case as we proceed over the next year,” said Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-15th).

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