Meadville Tribune

Local News

June 12, 2013

State House OK's $28B GOP budget

LINESVILLE — The state House on a straight party-line voted 108-92 on Wednesday to approve a $28.3 billion budget that would spend $100 million less than the budget proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Neither the governor’s plan nor the House plan would include any tax increases. The House plan will certainly be changed in final budget negotiations later in the month, but the debate provided lawmakers with an opportunity to weigh in on an issue that has been largely overlooked in recent months — school spending.

 “This budget represents an increase in spending from last year’s budget of almost $600 million,” said House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny. “It spends almost $10 billion on public education, pre-K through grade 12.”

Democrats argue that reduced spending on education will trickle down and force local schools to raise property taxes.

House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny County, countered that the spending plan is a “skewed budget” that “protects tax breaks for the wealthiest companies in the world while the middle-class suffers from property tax increases.”

Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer County, said the state is spending more on basic education funding than ever before. But that does not mean the state is spending more on education in some of the areas where schools need help the most, he said.

In the 2011-12 budget cycle, the state completely eliminated five grant or reimbursement programs and dramatically cut funding for accountability block grants. When those grant programs are counted, the state is proposing to spend less than it did in 2008-09.

Those grant pots included dollars intended to pay for tutoring, to help failing schools and to offset the costs of charter school tuition. The accountability block grants are most often used to pay for kindergarten, Longietti said.

Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware County and chairman of the House appropriations committee, said that Democrats are playing “a game of smoke and mirrors” with education funding.

When all the education dollars are counted, including money for community colleges, other institutions of higher education, the state is spending more than it did in the last budget passed in the term of Corbett’s predecessor Democrat Ed Rendell, said Republican state Rep. Brad Roae of Crawford County.

“The grand total of all of these 39 line items in the education part of the budget is $675 million more than they were in the 2010-2011 budget,” Roae said. “Some specific line items are higher, some are lower, and some no longer exist. But the total amount is $675 million more.”

Republican state Rep. Greg Lucas of Crawford and Erie counties believes the budget bill “would provide the largest investment of state dollars for education in the commonwealth’s history.”

“This budget bill represents our commitment to stand by our students.” Lucas said, adding that funding for state universities such as Edinboro University would remain at current levels. “The budget would honor our commitments to students, professors and the Edinboro University community without further burdening Pennsylvania taxpayers.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Well inspectors trying to keep up during boom time

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 27, 2014

  • cycle Young stunt cyclist to bring show to 'Thunder'

    V-v-v-v-eroom! is the high-pitched whine from the Honda CBR 600 sport motorcycle as Steven Pilic rolls back the throttle and speeds down the asphalt. In one quick, smooth motion — just like you put one foot in front of the other — he shifts his weight forward on the handlebars, jumps from the bike’s foot pegs, lands his feet on the seat and pulls the 400-plus pounds of metal up onto its back wheel, using a combination of balance, brakes, clutch and speed to circle slowly at first and then faster and faster, tighter and tighter while doing a wheelie.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tornado watch issued for Crawford County

    The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a tornado watch for Crawford County.

     

    July 27, 2014

  • SUNDAY ISSUE: 'Free-range' parenting

    The case of a woman arrested after leaving her daughter at a park while she went to work is sparking discussion across South Carolina — and even the rest of the country.

    July 26, 2014

  • pymatuning History majors rule at Pioneer & Art Festival

    Those looking for living history exhibits at the 21st annual Pymatuning Pioneer & Art Festival weren’t disappointed Saturday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Organizers ready to stimulate Meadville with next weekend's Thunder in the City

    Started six years ago by Dave Stone, owner of Mickey’s Central Station, as an event to “increase commerce and stimulate the economy,” the annual Thunder in the City Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in Meadville has done that — and lots more.

    July 25, 2014

  • Conneautville celebrating 200 years

    Thursday was a relaxed opening day at the Conneautville Bicentennial Celebration, but things will get hopping today — literally. A frog jumping contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    July 25, 2014

  • PennDOT seeking outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stabbing charges dismissed against Bloomfield woman

    A Bloomfield Township woman accused of stabbing her live-in companion last month is a free woman after the alleged victim in the case didn’t appear in court Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Guys Mills boy wins national PBS Kids Writers Contest

    July 24, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks