Governor Rendell gave his mid-year budget briefing earlier today - you can download the presentation here, but let me save you the time - the only thing new or interesting contained within is that Pennsylvania's General Fund shortfall is expected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of the fiscal year.
Rendell's plan to fix the gap has 4 parts:
- $500 million in budgetary freezes (including $36 million from independent agencies, which are not under his control)
- $174 million from revenue from Marcellus Shale lease payments (payments for rights to natural gas on state-owned lands)
- $101 million in additional lapses (things we won't pay until later)
- $375 million from the "Rainy Day Fund" (half of the current fund)
- And $450 million from a federal bailout of states (hurting the same taxpayers)
The new budget represents 1.64% decrease from the enacted budget, but a 2.27% increase over 2007-08; it would be hard to argue we have "cut to the bone." More Pennsylvania budget resources can be found here.