Does Billion Dollar Spending Hike Loom For Pa. After All?

McCall.Com is reporting that Gov. Rendell along with the leadership in the state Senate and House has agreed that state spending will increase by $1 billion for 2010-11.

“We’ve agreed with the Legislature we will try to hold spending growth to about 4 percent,” Rendell reportedly said in a conference call. That would mean mean a $1 billion increase to the current $27.8 billion budget.

State Senate Minority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jay Costa (D-43) said a $1.2 billion spending hike is expected.

Rendell Wants $170 Million In Spending Cuts

Rendell Wants $170 Million In Spending Cuts — Pennsylvania’s Obamaconic budget crisis has caused Gov. Ed Rendell to announce a plan to cut state spending by $170 million and has specified where $161 million of those cuts would be.

It should be noted that Rendell said he was cutting last year but spending actually rose.

Under the just announced plan, State Correctional Institutions would receive $15.377 million less than last year. This appears to be the biggest line item cut.

Public Welfare would be cut $53.688 million, with County Child Welfare (-$10.4 million), Acute Care Hospitals (-$4.7 million), Autism Intervention and Services (-$4.5 million), the Human Services Development Fund (-$4 million), and Health Care Clinics (-$3 million) taking the biggest hits. Money to the acute care hospitals and health care clinics would, in fact, being zeroed out.

State money for education would be cut by $27.835 million with the biggest share of the cuts coming in the Authority Rentals and Sinking Fund Requirements line item at $11.5 million.

Things like Cultural Preservation Assistance, Regional History Centers and Minority Business Development would be zeroed out.

For the complete list see here.

Rendell Wants $170 Million In Spending Cuts

Obamaconomics Forces Pa. To Cut Spending

Gov. Ed Rendell, yesterday, announced a plan that would turn a $96 million deficit into a projected $124 million surplus by the end of the fiscal year in June.

The plan calls for reductions in discretionary grant programs and a 1 percent across-the-board cut in spending by state agencies. He would also use last year’s surpluses for some programs.

The reason for this is sluggish revenues — IOW  fewer people working means   fewer people are buying things which means less money for Harrisburg from the state sales tax; and obviously the receipts from the state income tax are going to be less.

And people just don’t seem to be flocking to the casinos do they?

Rendell says he hopes the action will mean he can avoid layoffs of state workers.

The laid-off non-state workers who still have to pay property taxes feel your pain, I’m sure.

Kudos to GrassrootsPa.Com for the tip.

House Dems Vote For $1 Billion In New Taxes

The State House restarted the budget process last night by voting, 103-98, to resolve matters with $1 billion in new taxes. The vote was pretty much on party lines with Republican Dennis O’Brien joining the Democrats to vote for the taxes and Democrats John Pallone and Joe Petrarca joining the Republicans to vote nay.

Thanks to Government Bytes and Nathan Benefield for the tip.

Something to ponder: have things really been so bad without a budget? Maybe we will get lucky and they will never pass one. Status quo is better than new taxes.

Dems Cut Check For Themselves As State Workers Twisted In The Wind

Dems Cut Check For Themselves As State Workers Twisted In The Wind — Gov. Ed “X” Rendell caved yesterday signing a partial budget allowing 77,000 state workers to get paid, an experience they have not had since July 1.

Also, money was made available for welfare checks.

Checks were cut Tuesday, however, for the Democratic members of the State House using a reserve fund the State Legislature keeps just for budget impasses.

The House and Senate Republicans declined to issue checks until the rest of the state workers were paid, as did the Senate Democrats.

Dems Cut Check For Themselves As State Workers Twisted In The Wind

Pa Budget 70 Percent Higher

Kid Shellen of FreeRepublic.com has pointed out that the Pennsylvania budget has increased from $35.8 billion in 1998-99 to $61.3 billion in 2008-09.

Has your income increased 70 percent since 1998?

Or has state services improved 70 percent?

While the rate of increase has been higher under Rendell, Ridge/Schweiker didn’t do all that much better.

Rendell wants to spend $61.7 billion this year.

See: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=4571&mode=2#2008-09

Pa Budget 70 Percent Higher

Pa Budget 70 Percent Higher