Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rendell: 1.9 Percent Across-The-Board Cuts To Fill Remaining Medicaid Funding Hole

Gov. Rendell told Senate and House legislative leaders today a $280 million deficit remains in the budget after Congress passed the extra Medicaid funding.
The Governor said he would like to fill the gap with--
-- An across-the-board cut of 1.9 percent in the state budget that would yield $212 million: 1.9 percent cut to "discretionary appropriations," including $50 million to basic education funding; 1.9 percent cut to the General Assembly, Courts and to elected row offices (Auditor General, Attorney General and State Treasurer; and
-- Using $70 million from the proposed Marcellus Shale natural gas production severance tax.
UPDATE: A sheet distributed by the Governor's Office shows DEP cut by $2.4 million and DCNR cut by $1.5 million, but no individual line items were noted.
At a press conference after the call with the Governor, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) said there is $380 million in the federal bill that goes toward education and stated, “it’s the Governor’s preference to drive that money out through the basic education formula.”
He indicated Senate Leadership would examine the basic education subsidy and warned that there will be difficult budget decisions to make next year.
“I think part of our analysis will be focused on education funding,” Sen. Pileggi said. “Level funding for school districts is a victory when every other line item is taking substantial cuts.”

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