Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More on the Proposed 2010-2011 Budget

(You can also view selected line items on our blog or an updated spreadsheet of line items as a PDF. The updated spreadsheet includes differences between the 2009-2010 budget and the 2010-2011 budget.)

A budget deal between the four legislative caucuses and Governor Rendell was reached Tuesday.

The agreed-to spending plan, which must still find approval from rank-and-file members in the House and Senate, would spend about $28.05 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the Governor’s original request for a $29 billion budget. If enacted, the new budget would spend about six-tenths of one percent more than the current fiscal year, which allocated about $27.9 billion.

As reported by PLS, Governor Rendell said there are still “potential storm clouds” that could affect the agreement. In particular, the budget assumes $850 million in extended FMAP funding from the federal government which has yet to be approved. The Governor indicated that if FMAP money is not forthcoming, the state layoffs needed to offset that deficit would be devastating. The Governor also agreed with a statement yesterday from Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) that groups receiving funding should understand that if FMAP does not come through, there will have to be cuts made to many programs and human services.

The plan also calls for implementation of a natural gas severance tax (the details of which have yet to be worked out) by October 1st, and does not include any new or increased taxes on tobacco products, elimination of the Vendor Sales Tax Rebate, and would reject the adoption of combined reporting in Pennsylvania.

Senator Pileggi said Senators would amend the bill before sending it to the House, where members could concur with it. Because Wednesday is the June 30 budget deadline, House members would likely have to suspend the 24 hour rule to consider the bill if they want an on-time budget.

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