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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lawmakers Working Hard on the PA Budget?

If fundraising for the next campaign is considered working out the details of the state budget, Pennsylvania lawmakers are hard at it.  John Micek points out no fewer than nine breakfast fundraisers in Harrisburg this morning, plus an additional four this evening.

Relatedly, Gov. Rendell had his twentieth press conference calling for lawmakers to pass his revised budget - which he has produce - and his proposed tax increase, for which their is no legislation.  In fact more House Democrats have broken ranks and declared (courtesy FYI by PLS) that there are not enough votes for an income tax increase, so we're not entirely sure what Rendell is angling for.


Anonymous said...

NB. The math confuses me. Please help. As I understand it, PA should get about $2 billion this year and $2 billion next in funds that are essentiually fungible for broad areas like education from the federal stimulus. The Governor is proposing an extra billion and change in new spending. He has been talking about his hiring freeze for eight months which should have produced some savings. The state should be close to break even, no?

Nathan Benefield said...

The 2008-09 budget was $28.3 billion, and the expected revenue was about the same. We are now facing a $3.2 billion revenue shortfall from that. Rendell's hiring freeze and cuts reduced that by about $500 million, and the stimulus (plus omnibus), will provide about $1.8 billion to the state this year.

His 2009-10 spending proposal was $29 billion - $1.7 billion above what was passed, and $2.2 B above what we spent this year. He projects 0% growth, so the gap is much higher. The stimulus/omnibus revenue to the state increases to about $2.7 billion, but there is still a need for additional cuts or higher taxes.

See Senate Budget by the Numbers and Deficit Watch June 2009 for some of the math.