Gordner weighs in on budget
HARRISBURG - State Sen. John Gordner called the budget presented on deadline late Sunday to Gov. Tom Corbett a "stay-the-course" type budget.
There weren't many brand new programs, Gordner said Sunday night, and there are "not really any programs that were cut or eliminated."
Public education got a boost of more than $100 million, the majority of which he said would be provided to school districts in basic education subsidies.
Conservation district funding originally slashed in whole from the governor's proposal in the winter was restored at 85 percent, Gordner said. Additional funding redirected from Marcellus Shale impact fees will make up for more than the remaining 15 percent, he said.
Gordner was proud to say that for three years running, a balanced budget was passed on time, even if just hours before the July 1 deadline.
"That's important because for eight years that did not happen," he said of late budgets having been the norm under former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.
Revenues are up, he said, but so are costs, particularly for pension payments that accounts for more than $500 million. Such increases must be reined in, he said, but not everyone agrees with the Republican from the 27th Senatorial District.
"I received more phone calls and emails on that issue than any other issue," Gordner said. "The far majority were from teachers and state workers asking that we do nothing."