Lowlights of the Corbett Budget

Here’s my first pass. Feel free to point out important stuff I missed in the comments.

The Bad News:

Turning down $43 billion in federal Medicaid money, denying insurance to 700,000 PA residents

- Transportation Funding Plan Of Wusses – comes up a billion dollars short of panel recommendations, ignores multiple decent recommendations

- Flat liquid fuels tax cut over 2 years, gives away $179 million in revenue. WTF is a tax cut doing in a revenue plan?

- No new local transportation revenue option like value capture or payroll tax. County match requirement raised to 20% from 3% for capital, up to 20% from 15% for operating

- $85m for Turnpike “expansion” projects – likely boondoggles

- $80m total for bike/ped, ports, airports and rail

- Level-funding higher education

Reduces state contribution to pensions, increases pension debt

- No mention of municipal pension reform

- 10-year 30% reduction in corporate net income tax from 9.99% to 6.99%, off-set by nothing

- Phases out the Capital Stock and Franchise tax, off-set by nothing

- Does nothing to cut $2.9 billion annual spending on fossil fuel subsidies

- Does nothing to cut tax expenditures

The Less-Bad News:

- Oil company franchise tax uncapped over 5 years, will raise $1.8 billion

- Only $250 million for transit, despite billions required for state-of-good-repair. This is less bad because it could’ve been lower
or totally cleaved from the regular transportation budget like some rural GOoPers wanted

- $90 million in Basic Education Funding – increase of 1.7% over last year, for total of $5.5 billion

- $348 million for early childhood education programs

- Future state employees get 401(a) defined contribution plan, forced to save 6.25% of salary

Pointlessly kludgey alcohol reform

- $1 billion 4-year block grant to school districts contingent on alcohol reform. Seeing a lot of people complaining about this because the grant ends. Why? Take the money and then top up Basic Education. We can do both!

- Maintains funding for Green Future Fund open space preservation program

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