We’ve been remiss not to mention the ongoing debate in Harrisburg over the state budget. To catch you up: Gov. Tom Corbett introduced a $27.3 billion budget that included big, big cuts to education. House Republicans passed a budget that spends the same total amount of money, but shifts a lot of cuts from education to the Department of Public Welfare. The bill now goes to the Senate … after the legislature takes a week off for Memorial Day.
Sorry, we don’t mean to make that the focus here. But that’s a pretty sweet holiday.
The debate in the House included very angry comments from Democrats about the damage of potential cuts. The big issue at the moment is whether to use an anticipated extra $500 million that’s come in through tax collections to a) restore some programs slated to be cut, or b) create a rainy day fund.
One question we’ll be looking into is how the different versions of the state budget impact Philly, and particularly the city budget. At the moment, the city is looking for about $100 million it doesn’t have, to help out the school district. Depending on how things go in Harrisburg, that number could change.
Meanwhile, the Daily News writes today that if you want to weigh in on the state budget, now is the time.