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.