PA budget highlights: On time, slimmed down

Highlights of the nearly $27.2 billion state budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that passed the House and Senate:


— An overall decrease in spending of about 3 percent.

— Nearly $27.2 billion in taxes, fees and other state revenue.

— No increase in the state income or sales tax.


— Projected general revenue growth of $900 million, or about 3.5 percent, in 2011-12.

— Approximately $500 million in surplus at the June 30 end of the 2010-11 fiscal year.


— Approximately $150 million in surplus revenue from 2010-11.

— $50 million in state surplus and $50 million in legislative reserve funds booked in 2010-11 and spent in 2011-12 on accountability grants for public schools.

— Approximately $70 million in payments to nursing homes put off until 2012-13.


— The continuation of the scheduled phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax on businesses, now scheduled to expire in 2014. The rate drops from 2.89 mills in 2011 to 1.89 mills in 2012.

— A 100 percent accelerated depreciation on businesses expenses at an estimated cost of $200 million.

— No tax on natural gas drilling.


— A reduction of approximately $900 million, or more than 10 percent, in funding for instruction, accountability grants, special education, teacher training, student tutoring aid, charter school reimbursements and more for public schools.

— A reduction of approximately $220 million, or almost 20 percent, in funding for the 14 state-owned universities in the State System of Higher Education, plus Pitt, Temple, Penn State and Lincoln.

— A decrease of 10 percent to $212 million for community colleges.

— A decrease of 0.5 percent to $10.6 billion for the Department of Public Welfare, which includes health care for the poor, child care and services for the disabled.

— An increase of 7 percent to more than $1 billion for debt service payments.

— An increase of 110 percent to $600 million in school employee pensions.

— A decrease of 35 percent to $213 million for the Department of Community and Economic Development.

— $1.9 billion, no change, for the Department of Corrections.

— A decrease of 7 percent to $135 million for the Department of Environmental Protection.


— Does not include Corbett's proposal to create the Liberty Loan Fund to consolidate existing private-sector financing programs.

(Source: The Associated Press)




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