$161 million in new budget cuts (updated)

In December, Governor Rendell vowed to cut an additional $170 million from Pennsylvania’s state budget in order to make up for lower-than-anticipated tax revenues. It looks like the specifics of those cuts have now been finalized.

This document  details $161 million worth of spending cuts. It eliminates 32 line items, including state funding for zoos, regional community colleges services, rural cancer outreach and regional history centers.

Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma says it’s an across the board one percent reduction for all line items, followed by an additional “$90 to $100 million” in discretionary cuts. “The budget office and the central administration worked with the cabinet agencies. Went back and forth and made some determinations about where they thought they could cut, and what was possible and what was advisable, and what wasn’t,” said Tuma. “All of these cuts are painful. None of these cuts are ones that the governor or anyone else in the administration really wants to make.”

Tuma notes the money has been put into budgetary reserve, which means there’s a chance it could be restored if Pennsylvania’s economic picture suddenly improves.  “People should not necessarily count on that,” he said.

An earlier document, included below, also eliminated a $4 million job training line item in the Education budget, but $2 million  is included for that program in the updated spreadsheet.

As of today, Pennsylvania’s revenues are $254.2 million below expectations. The governor is anticipating a $450 million shortfall by year’s end.

Here’s a version of the document dated 1/8/10. It was obtained from an outside source, and detailed $163 million worth of cuts.


About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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