Pennsylvania lawmakers spent much of the weekend putting together a new state budget that boosts spending, and does not include new taxes or revenue increases, even though the state faces a shortfall approaching one-and-a-half billion dollars.
The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a $29.1 billion plan, and final budget votes could be taken Monday (6/30) in both the state House and Senate. The new fiscal year begins Tuesday.
As Radio PA News reports, critics have called the spending plan a “gimmick budget,” a plan that uses one-time cash transfers and reserve funds.
Meanwhile, it is not what Governor Tom Corbett has been asking for, but state Senators on Monday were looking at a watered-down pension reform plan. A vote is likely Monday.
Corbett has been calling throughout his initial term as Governor for comprehensive pension reform for state and public school employees. He has recently tied the issue to the budget process.
On Sunday night, the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a bill that would apply only to elected officials, including lawmakers, row officers, governors and judges. It would move them from a defined pension plan to a “401(k)-style” retirement plan, based upon retirement or retention.