Restraint in Spending
The Governor’s budget builds on his first two spending plans that combined to erase a $4.2 billion deficit caused by the recession and the end of federal stimulus money. It hasn’t been easy or painless. According to his Budget Office, 260 line items in the annual budget have been eliminated since Governor Corbett took office.
Overall, the budget does ask for a slight increase in spending over last year, $28.4 billion in General Fund revenues compared to the $27.7 budget he signed in July. As the Governor noted in his budget address, however, “Thanks to two years of fiscal restraint, we are now able to make responsible spending increases.” Some of those increases include the largest amount ever, for example, $5.5 billion for basic education subsidies. He is also proposing increases in programs for children with mental and physical disabilities.