Pa. Budget Chief Says Pension Reforms Essential

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett will “very likely” propose cutting future pension benefits for current school employees and state workers in the state budget plan he will present to lawmakers next week, his chief budget adviser said Monday.

Budget Secretary Charles Zogby, all but confirming a cost-cutting approach that the administration first floated last fall despite questions about its legality, said decisive steps must be taken to rein in taxpayers’ fast-growing share of pension costs.

“We’ve got to pay for our obligations and we need to look at a rebalancing of our pension obligations … if we’re going to meet our needs without inflicting deep cuts elsewhere in the budget,” he said at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=446630

Pennsylvania Turnpike Is Billions Of Dollars In Debt

Map of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Map of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Stop the madness!

PHILADELPHIA – The Pennsylvania Turnpike may be on the road to the poorhouse.

Required by a 2007 state law to provide billions of dollars for statewide road and bridge repairs and transit operations, the turnpike is spending more money each year than it makes, despite toll increases that have doubled the cost to travel the turnpike over the last 10 years.

To meet the financial demands created by the law, Act 44, turnpike officials have borrowed aggressively, leaving the agency deeper in debt each year.

The Turnpike Commission is now more than $7 billion in debt, up from $2 billion in 2002 and $4 billion in 2009. The burden continues to grow, with the turnpike required to make payments until 2057.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=411605

Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania Enacting A Spending Freeze To Keep Budget Balanced!

The temperature isn’t the only thing freezing in Pennsylvania:

Gov. Tom Corbett’s Budget Secretary, Charles Zogby, said today state revenues are on track to miss projections that the current budget was built on by $500 million this fiscal year.

That revenue shortfall, Zogby said, has led Corbett to task him with drawing up options for a mid-year freeze on some state spending to try to keep the overall $27.1 billion general fund budget in balance. He also said it creates a scenario in which there will likely be scant resources for any spending increases in fiscal year 2012-13, which begins July 1.

Read more : http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/12/state_revenues_expected_to_be.html