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Flat Higher Education Funding, State Pension Reform Covered In Corbett Budget

February 5, 2013

There would be no increase for funding for state-owned and state-related universities, or in the funding for PHEAA tuition grants in Governor Tom Corbett’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.  Flat funding is also proposed for community colleges.

Corbett wants to keep state funding for the state grant program at $345-million.  PHEAA would add at least $25-million from the agency’s loan servicing operations.

In Corbett’s budget announcements on Tuesday morning, it was revealed that state government workers would receive three and one-quarter percent raises, but more than 1,000 positions would be eliminated, and all managers would be required to work full 40-hour weeks.

Corbett’s pension reform plan would not affect benefits already earned by state employees, but would reduce future benefits.  Most state workers, including teachers, would see 20 percent reductions.  Most legislators would have future benefits cut by 17 percent.

Retirees would not lose any benefits.  New state employees would automatically be enrolled in a 401(a) plan, and would be required to contribute a minimum of six and a quarter to seven and a half percent of their salaries.

Under the budget plan, the state Department of Public Welfare would receive an additional $400-million in funding, and the state Corrections Department would see an extra $57-million.

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