Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his proposed Pennsylvania budget for the Commonwealth’s next fiscal year on Tuesday.
Speaking to a joint session of the state legislature and outlining his budget plans for the 2014-2015 fiscal year which will begin July 1, the Governor proposed a spending plan totaling $29.4 billion, a one billion dollar increase — or about 3.3 percent –from this fiscal year.
No tax increases were included. Corbett said an improving economy should produce about four percent higher revenue. Other additional money would come though natural gas leases on state lands, the unclaimed property program, and lower pension payments through an expanded pension reform plan. The Governor also proposes adding Keno games to the state’s lottery system.
Thirty-five percent of the budget would go toward education, but for the third straight year, Corbett has proposed level funding for state-owned and state-related universities. The Governor did propose $25 million in “Ready to Succeed” grants, merit-based money awards to be paid out through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
Speaking recently to Radio PA News, the Governor stressed that his budget proposal is only a starting point; that is, the kickoff of a budget season that will likely continue right up until June 30.