PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - September 19, 2009

It is now day 80 of the budget impasse, and there has been a breakthrough. Although not everyone is on board, Governor Rendell last night held a press conference to announce his support of a modified version of the “three-caucus” budget that has been making the rounds since September 10. While details are still emerging, it is expected that the budget will include:

  • $27.9 billion in spending – this is $400 million less in spending than in the last fiscal year. Without federal stimulus dollars, the budget would be about $2 billion less than last year.
  • Increased business taxes and cigarette tax rates (and the expansion of the cigarette tax to cigarillos)
  • Extension of the sales tax to theater and concert tickets
  • Table games at casinos
  • Increased education spending of about $300 million

This version of the budget is expected to be debated next week in the House and Senate, with possible passage by the end of the week (though it will more likely continue into the week of September 28). Once the budget is passed, Governor Rendell noted that the State Treasurer’s office would work to get money out to service agencies as soon as possible.

Below are some of the stories regarding the budget with additional information:

Please continue to read our blog for updates on the budget throughout the weekend and next week.

Philadelphia Budget Update

On September 17, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a bill allowing Philadelphia to institute a temporary sales tax increase and to delay pension payments for two years. With this vote, Philadelphia was able to avoid the "Plan C" budget scenario, which would have closed libraries, cut police and firefighting jobs, and reduced trash pickup to once every two weeks.


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