Last updated: June 30. 2014 11:39PM - 1567 Views
Associated Press



Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday night he wouldn’t sign a $29.1 billion spending plan for Pennsylvania state government before the fiscal year ended at midnight, saying he’ll continue to seek passage of a meaningful bill to reduce future public pension costs.


Corbett’s move Monday night comes after leaders of the House and Senate Republican majorities couldn’t drum up enough support to pass pension legislation backed by Corbett.


That legislation would reduce future public employee pension benefits to bring a savings of more than $10 billion over 30 years.


But Democrats were united in opposition, and some Republicans opposed it.


Instead, the Senate passed a bill would shift state lawmakers, judges, the governor and four other elected executive branch officials into a 401(k)-style system. It’s expected to save $690 million over 38 years.


The 108-95 vote in the House and the 26-24 Senate tally followed sharply partisan debates in both chambers that echoed the state’s gubernatorial campaign.


House Appropriations Committee Chairman William Adolph said the measure strikes an appropriate balance among the state’s competing needs without a tax increase.


Democrats charged that the bill relies too heavily on transfers, one-time revenues and gimmickry to balance the budget.


The Senate will be adjourned until 11 a.m. today.


Pennsylvania is the last state without approved spending authority for the year that starts at 12:01 a.m.


In the House, Appropriations Committee Chairman William Adolph said the measure strikes an appropriate balance among the state’s competing needs without a tax increase.


Democrats charged that the bill relies too heavily on transfers, one-time revenues and gimmickry to balance the budget.


Spending would increase by $943 million, more than 3 percent, mainly for public schools, prisons, public pension obligations, health care for the poor and social services.


Senators approved the rigidly partisan budget bill that plugs a massive deficit, as majority Republicans powered the patchwork spending plan past the objections of minority Democrats who said it favors the haves over the have-nots.


Every Republican in the Senate voted for the bill, except for Sen. Charles McIlhinney, R-Bucks, who joined every Democrat in opposing it.


Senate Republicans negotiated the budget plan behind closed doors with House Republican leaders and Corbett.


Frozen out, Democrats objected to the lack of a new tax on the booming natural gas industry and charged that the plan will do little to reverse budget-balancing cuts in aid to schools and safety-net programs that Republicans engineered under Corbett. They also complained about the distribution of new public school money that delivers higher percentage increases to suburban, rather than urban, schools.


Comments
comments powered by Disqus



Featured Businesses


Poll



Info Minute



Gas Prices

Wilkes-Barre Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com