Now that the Pennsylvania Senate has passed its version of a 2012-2013 state budget, the state House is now considering the spending plan, and it looks like changes will be made.
The Senate added about a half-billion dollars to the governor’s $27.1 billion dollar spending plan saying higher than expected revenues allowed for the increase. Governor Tom Corbett reacted by saying he sees the Senate figure as a ceiling on spending. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R- McCandless) agreed.
“We will have members that would like to have a lower spending level than maybe what the Senate put on the table, but we will have others that think it’s about right and we have to find consensus in the House of Representatives for where we are,” said Turzai.
House Democrats said the Senate’s proposed restorations to higher education, public schools, and some social services programs are meager.
Turzai might not agree with the word “meager,” but he does agree with the focus. “We also need to prioritize on K-12, higher ed, intellectual disabilities. I think those are areas where we want to make sure that if the revenues allow that we can do some additional dollars. So it is a balance, there’s no doubt about it,” said Turzai.
House leaders indicated they hope negotiations will be wrapped up by mid-June. The Senate would then have to take a second look at the budget. The state’s fiscal year ends June 30th.