Governor Tom Corbett today discussed his 2012-13 budget proposal, along with his administration's commitment to job creation, at a luncheon for Franklin County business leaders, hosted by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin).
"My major goal as governor can be summed up in one word: jobs. A job doesn't solve everything but does help with a lot of things. It provides income. It provides purpose. It provides dignity," Corbett said.
The governor's proposed 2012-13 budget, submitted to the General Assembly in February, maintains Corbett's commitment to balance the state budget. It closes a projected revenue shortfall of more than $700 million and reduces spending by more than $20 million.
Most importantly, it meets the state's pension obligations and does not raise taxes for residents or businesses.
The governor's proposed budget focuses on five key areas: economic opportunities, education, human services, public safety and streamlining government.
"A value-added economy, incentives to start or expand a business, and a ready workforce will get our state moving again. That's what my budget is about, recognizing economic reality and acting on it," Corbett said.
Corbett's proposed budget accomplishes the following:
* Reduces spending from last year by reducing the state government workforce an additional 2 percent, eliminating 33 wasteful appropriations, reducing 181 additional line items and reducing the state vehicle fleet by 1,200 vehicles.
* Creates job opportunities by holding the line on taxes, supporting Pennsylvania's small and large businesses, and focusing state efforts on workforce development and job matching.
* Increases funding to basic education, continuing the same level of funding from last year for universities dedicated to job placement and creating new programs that give students incentives for training for occupations that are in high demand for employees.
* Levels funding for the Department of Corrections for the first time in a decade, while increasing the funding for the PA Board of Probation and Parole to support transition from incarceration to community, continued funding for volunteer fire companies and providing funding for 115 new State Police troopers.
* Transforms the public welfare system by providing incentives to those who are able to transition from the welfare line to the workforce, providing real relief to our poor and safeguarding taxpayer dollars through the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse.
* Provides more than $387 million in funding for Penn State, Temple and the University of Pittsburgh, which translates to between 1.6 to 2.1 percent decrease in the operational budgets; and a total of $330.2 million for the state-owned universities, a 3.8 percent reduction in the operating budget.
"By keeping taxes low and holding down government spending, this leaves more money in the part of the economy that creates the best jobs - the free market," Corbett said.