On a party line vote of 21-14, the state House Appropriations Committee has amended a new budget into the budget vehicle that went through the chamber on Monday.
Although changes are expected in the Senate, the $29.1 billion spending plan was approved and sent on to the full House.
The Republican-propelled budget does increase spending for education, but not by as much as Governor Corbett proposed before state revenues faltered. It arrives at its spending number with some one-time transfers and with the anticipation of projected savings through the privatization of the state’s liquor system – a plan which has not been able to clear the Senate.
Democrats say the plan does not contain enough money for education, and would be out of balance without additional funding sources, but committee chairman Bill Adolph says it increase funding for kindergarten-through-12th-grade education, keeps higher education level-funded and commits more money to aid the elderly and the disabled.
Pennsylvania is facing a budget gap of one to one-and-a-half billion dollars.