Thursday, June 30, 2011

Senate, House Pass On-Time, No Tax State Budget

The Senate and House gave final approval tonight, voting along party lines, to approve the General Fund budget bill-- House Bill 1485 (Adolph-R-Delaware)-- which contains $27.1 billion in spending and a 4.1 percent reduction from the FY 2010-11 General Fund budget. They also passed all the accompanying implementing bills, including a school tax referendum badly wanted by Gov. Corbett.

Gov. Corbett is expected to sign the budget before the midnight deadline.

Some General Fund Highlights

-- FY 2010-11 will end with about $750 million in surplus revenue;

-- About $150 million in surplus revenue from FY 2010-11 is used in the FY 2011-12;

-- $50 million in state surplus revenue and $50 million in legislative reserve funds booked last year and next fiscal year will go for public schools;

-- $70 million in payments to nursing homes put off until FY 2012-13;

-- Continuation of the phase-out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax which drops from 2.89 to 1.89 mills;

-- 100 percent accelerated depreciation on business expenses at a cost of $200 million;

-- No tax on Marcellus Shale drilling;

-- $200 million reduction, about 19 percent, in support for higher education;

-- 10 percent decrease in funding for community colleges;

-- $10.6 billion decrease for the Department of Public Welfare, 0.5 percent;

-- 7 percent increase in debt service payments;

-- 110 percent increase in school employee pension payments;

-- 35 percent decrease in the Department of Community and Economic Development;

-- No change in the Department of Corrections; and

-- Does not include Gov. Corbett's proposed Liberty Loan Fund.

House Republicans put out a summary of the General Fund budget as well as a line item summary of appropriations. House Democrats put together their own view of the Republican General Fund budget and a separate fact sheet on public welfare issues.

The related bills include:

-- Senate Bill 907 (Browne-R-Lehigh) the Fiscal Code;

-- House Bill 1352 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) the Education Code;

-- House Bill 960 (Gringrich-R-Lebanon) the Welfare Code;

-- Senate Bill 330 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) school tax referendum;

-- Senate Bill 1062 (Corman-R-Centre) Gaming Board funding; and

-- Non-Preferred funding for Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Lincoln, University of Pennsylvania in House Bills 1727, 1728, 1729, 1730, 1731.

Note: more tomorrow in the PA Environment Digest.

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