Finance - February 10, 2012

Governor Corbett unveils 2012-13 budget proposal

On Tuesday Governor Tom Corbett gave his budget address and presented his proposed budget for 2012-13.  Gov. Corbett’s budget does not include any tax increases.  He stated that “state government has less revenue because our citizens have less for themselves. We can’t ask people to travel the road to recovery and then turn around and add to the burden they must carry along the way.” 

State-related universities saw a thirty percent cut; state owned universities a twenty percent cut, while public schools and community colleges can expect similar funding to last year.  The Patriot news reported that also included are “new initiatives aimed at fostering private sector job creation.”  Senate budget hearings begin on Monday while the House budget hearings do not get under way until February 21.  

Optional drilling fee bill headed to Governor’s desk

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that Governor Corbett is expected to sign HB 1950 which the House and Senate both approved this week.  Should local governments choose to require the fee, revenues collected could reach more than $1 billion over the next five years.

The money from the fee will support “state and local government programs, toughen safety standards and limit the ability of local officials to keep drilling out of their towns;” though if a majority of municipalities object to the fee they could overrule the county commissioner’s decision to require it.