Governor Corbett Signs New PA Budget

The budget was enacted with just minutes to spare from the Saturday midnight deadline.

For the second year in a row, Gov. Tom Corbett beat a midnight deadline and signed a state budget that includes no new taxes. 

"Hopefully we're developing a habit, and I think the Pennsylvania citizens will appreciate that habit of on time," Corbett said after the signing ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda.

The final $27.66 billion budget package includes several significant victories for the Corbett administration, including a tax incentive aimed at luring a Shell Oil Co. plant to Beaver County, a measure to alter how teachers are evaluated, and a proposal to tame rising prison costs through targeted sentencing, the Post-Gazette reported.

The spending plan, approved by the  on Thursday and the late Friday, maintains funding at current year levels for public universities and most school districts, but some fiscally struggling districts received a little extra money, the Patriot-News reported. It cuts funding for human services by $84 million and eliminates the Department of Public Welfare's cash assistance program, starting Aug. 1.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte, said the budget is based on Senate Republicans' belief that controlling government spending and rejecting tax hikes is crucial to moving Pennsylvania toward economic recovery. 

"In these fiscally challenging times you have to make tough choices, but we also recognize that providing a quality education to kids of all ages is one of our most important responsibilities," Corman said. "This budget includes funding to help counties and local agencies provide essential social and health services and programs for senior citizens and those with physical and mental disabilities."

While acknowledging what he calls "hurtful cuts to vulnerable Pennsylvanians," the state’s new budget contains important provisions intended to address the root of the state’s fiscal woes, said , D-Canonsburg.

“The bottom line is jobs and we have taken aggressive steps to improve the economy and employment picture,” Solobay said. “Economic growth and the jobs that come with it should make future budgets easier on everyone.”

The budget includes an aggressive plan to create a historic economic development project in Beaver County and tax incentives for a wide array of employers to create jobs.

Along with the tax credits required to close the deal for the construction of the $3 billion ethane “cracker” plant, the budget contains an expansion of the film tax credit to include its use in sound studios, and a more than doubling in the credit for hiring unemployed workers.

Lawmakers also adopted a “single-sales factor” for apportioning corporate net income taxes, finishing the shift from payroll and assets to sales when calculating business taxes. The change encourages employers to keep their manufacturing as well as their retail facilities in the state.

Other changes to the tax code allow the transfer of family farms to extended family without applying the inheritance tax, and provide credits to businesses that open up in renovated and preserved historic buildings.

What do you think of the budget? Tell us in the comments section and take our poll.

Stephanie Davis July 01, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Call me skeptical that these are the best policies for PA.
Roger July 01, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Stephanie, ... call me a realist but I know the Rendell budgets (that were never on time -- one time five months late) were not the best policies for PA.
nate July 01, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I think its a scam for companies in PA to get tax cuts but are required to give money to charter schools. The Repubs continue to destroy public education!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
nate July 01, 2012 at 10:45 PM
At least Rendell did not give his administration pay raises when he cut non union workers pay!!!!!
Frustrated FRED! July 01, 2012 at 11:11 PM
None of this had to happen if we elected a "Good" man for Governor! Dan Onorato was for education and the support of the elderly yet we voted for the "RED" team just because they "represent affluent” and for some strange reason we think we are affluent! Dan would have taxed the drilling companies just like every other state in this country and used the revenue to support what has now been cut. The drilling companies are prepared to pay their "fair share" and show it in their yearly budgets. Yet we say "OH NO we don't want your money go ahead and just take all you want from our state"! The land that is owned by Allegheny County at the airport would support enough wells that would give the county annual revenue close to $800MIL a year yet NO ACTION! Our governments need to asses our “Assets” and use them to the best of their ability to run the show. We need to get our “heads out of our A**”!
Roger July 02, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Don't like the control of the public schools, huh, Nate? Alternatives are a thread, are they?
Roger July 02, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Fred, with due respect, Dan Onorato was supporting more money for public schools. We know that more money does not mean better education. Explain to us again, ... a discussion that was populating these boards over a year ago, ... what is the relationship between drilling for natural gas and public education. Thank you.
cc July 02, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Nate when you have schools like Baldwin that are more interested in creating Dean of Sports positions and cutting the technology department which was running on a thin thread to begin with. I am for charter schools as they teach better technology and the government isn't giving them money, it is the school district that has to turn over 80% of a students cost. The school district gets to keep 20%.
cc July 02, 2012 at 01:36 AM
What happen to the drinking tax that Dan made in Allegheny county and now the county refuses to send that money to the port authority and they decided to keep 8 million under Dan? Robert I thought we weren't allowed to swear on these comment as Frustrated FRED! is doing on his last line.
the lady July 02, 2012 at 03:54 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/virginia-schools-insider/post/k12-inc-chief-executive-ron-packard-paid-5-million-compensation-package-in-2011/2011/12/09/gIQASUiGiO_blog.html I have serious problems with cyber and charter schools getting public money which comes from YOUR taxes...They are 1) For Profit schools 2) education comes second...There is NO long term evidence they have better outcomes than public. If anything, I would guess lower expectations- especially when they cater to some kids who just don't want to go to school because they want to sleep until 11am everyday. Read the link above and see that the CEO of K12 got paid $5M last year. That is with PUBLIC money. Wake up people...if you think public schools are costing you dearly, at least there is TRANSPARENCY by law. You have NO WAY of ever seeing what goes on behind closed doors with cyber and charter (corporations) I mean "schools". Wake up people....he just wants to dismantle unions...that is what this is really about- because they oppose his agendas. His decisions have little to do with actual "education" quality. He, himself, is a graduate of Shaler- a public school- and he went on to Law School. He is just trying to bust unions...
Oren Spiegler July 02, 2012 at 09:18 AM
There surely are facets of the new Pennsylvania state budget for citizens to dislike, but I extend hearty congratulations to Governor Tom Corbett and Republicans in the General Assembly for reaching agreement on time in another year of fiscal challenge. The second consecutive on-time state budget serves to deliver another embarrassing blow to Mr. Corbett's predecessor, Ed Rendell, who flouted the State Constitution, delivering late budgets every year within his long, painful, and costly eight-year reign. We should recall that in many of the years in which there was a Rendell budget impasse, state employees were used as pawns, threatened with the prospect of "payless paydays" if the budget was not approved by July 1. No such issue has arisen under Governor Corbett. Delivering a budget on time is one mark of a leader. Say what you will about him and his policies, some of which I disagree with, but a responsible and mature individual now occupies the Governor's Mansion in Harrisburg: hallelujah!
Ed M July 02, 2012 at 10:53 AM
By using ** instead of the actual letters isn't swearing. And beside, everyone has one! Dan Onorato??? Really! What did Dan Onorato do for Allegheny County????
Daniele Ventresca July 02, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Per the Patch terms of service, you are not permitted to use masked profanity. Really Ed? Really!
Ed M July 02, 2012 at 12:31 PM
For once, Danielle, you are correct. I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out. Personally, I don't consider that word profanity.
Mike July 02, 2012 at 12:44 PM
It looks like you have to be a foreign oil company to get welfare in this state. Thanks Tommy!
renee July 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Love the cuts to the welfare system. That is out of control. Hate the continued cuts to public education.
Jet Miskis July 02, 2012 at 02:29 PM
What none of you have mentioned is the "Shady" deal the Republicans got into this budget. Representation Jesse White (Dem. 46th District) explains it perfectly; so, I've listen his speech on the House floor and his email, "Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2012 8:38 PM, Subject: Selective drilling moratorium -- A bad deal" http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hbstQ1ERCbU Selective drilling moratorium -- A bad deal for Pennsylvanians A state budget-related bill, Senate Bill 1263, was passed today that includes a moratorium on natural gas drilling in Bucks and Montgomery counties in the eastern portion of the state. Although the moratorium language has nothing to do with the budget, it was inserted at the last minute without a chance for public vetting or real debate. Aside from being blatantly unconstitutional, since all laws in Pennsylvania must be uniform and not beneficial to one particular county or group, this is simply horrible public policy on multiple levels. The legislature should not be picking and choosing which counties can or cannot drill for natural gas, especially after Act 13 – the drilling law – was passed under the guise of creating uniformity for the purposes of natural gas drilling in our Commonwealth. No matter if you consider yourself "pro-drilling" or "anti-drilling" or somewhere in between, this is a bad deal for Pennsylvania citizens, and one that could usher a disastrous county-by-county political football game all across the state.
Outraged Citizen July 02, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I weep for Pennsylvania when I read that people do not understand the difference between a tax credit and welfare. Simply put, welfare is a transfer of taxpayer funds to those the government deems eligible. A tax credit is a sum deducted from the total taxes an entity would owe to the taxing authority. Again, Pennsylvania is not cutting a $1.7 billion check to Shell to open the “cracker” plant in Beaver County. A plant that will cost Shell $3 billion to construct and will employ thousands. Shell can deduct $1.7 billion in taxes it would owe to Pennsylvania spread over 25 years. In regards to education, the budget does not cut funding to schools and universities. It maintains current funding levels.
cc July 02, 2012 at 02:42 PM
This is one school in Virginia, not Pennsylvania. Also for your information charter and cyber schools start at 8 am and students have to be logged in and have their camera turned on so that these teachers can take role. Student put in the same time as public schools and not all Cyber or Charter schools are bad. There are many reason's parents choose to use them, as they have the right to home school their child. When parents home school their children, the money for that child's education still goes to the Public School who's district he lives in. When you put your child in a Cyber/Charter School, the district that they came from gets to keep 20% of the education cost and not all money is turned over to the school that they are enrolled in.
Carol Jamison July 02, 2012 at 07:58 PM
There may not be any taxes raised for Education but believe me, the bill will be passed on to families of those students that are n school. Not only are there vital programs being cut such as music, the arts, and special education, but there are now vary high fees for those kids that are involvled in extra activities such as marching band, all sports, high school musicals, etc... In the end we are still the ones who are paying in more than just money. Unfortunately, now that cost includes a less rounded education for our kids and less resources for those that need extra help by the laying off and cutting of hours in our special ed. programs.
Frustrated Fred July 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
What about the five counties in Western PA and the two in Eastern PA where Corbett cut the hourly rate available for Senior Citizen home care. In those seven counties he cut the wage from $25 an hour to $17 and left the rest of the state at $25! Fair or unconstitutional? Maybe BOTH! "A** = ARM" ;-)
Roger July 03, 2012 at 09:41 AM
No, the funds were not cut. The flow of 2009 Fed stimulus money stopped, as planned. The budgets were returned back to levels near the previous state funding. All the talk of "cuts" continues to miss this point. The Fed stimulus money was a one-time shot, and quickly many folks believed the stream of money would just keep coming. When it did not, then the idea of "cut" was used to characterize the funding reduction.
Roger July 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Wrong! The PA funding remained the same, the Fed stimulus money was over-and-beyond past funding to local districts. The local districts were challenged on what to do with the 'extra' money. The problem, the 'extra' money was taken to be an ongoing stream. When the stream stopped, then the outrage of "cuts" was heard through the districts. No cuts, rather just back to pre-stimulus levels.
cc July 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I would love to cut the welfare system, but who's going to pay for the people to get free healthcare under obamacare. Millions more will be added to welfare when obamacare takes place and it is the people that have jobs are going to be paying this with an increase in taxes or their going to cut more money from our schools.
cc July 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Renee they did not cut money to education in this budget, they cut cash money to welfare starting August 1. I'm all for cash assistance being cut from people that stay home and do nothing. But do think they shouldn't cut money to Senior Citizens that only get 500 a month to live on nor the truly disabled that don't qualify for Social Security because we got fakers on SS, SSI and SSDI that collect but then are out playing golf or running marathons. :The spending plan, approved by the House on Thursday and the Senate late Friday, maintains funding at current year levels for public universities and most school districts, but some fiscally struggling districts received a little extra money, the Patriot-News reported. It cuts funding for human services by $84 million and eliminates the Department of Public Welfare's cash assistance program, starting Aug. 1"
JustMe July 05, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Roger you are totally correct there.
jane August 10, 2012 at 05:49 AM
I am a bit late at getting around to reading this, but I believe this article proves your point exactly: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/24/dorothy-june-hairston-bro_n_1699765.html Philadelphia Charter School Mogul, Charged With Defrauding $6.5 Million In Tax Dollars, spread this far and wide! People need to know what a fraud these schools are and the corrupt politicians pushing for them are most likely grabbing kickbacks. This whole thing stinks of corruption!


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