Total Cost Of Pennsylvania’s Proposed Budget: $78.6 Billion

HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania could own a bunch of professional sports team if it wanted.

OK, maybe we’re taking some liberty with that, but there is some math to back it up. If Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget is enacted exactly as he presented it earlier this month, the state’s total operating budget would soar to $78.6 billion, the highest level ever.

To put that in perspective, it’s enough to buy all 32 teams in the National Football League, based on average team values compiled by Forbes.com. And then for fun, the state still could buy all 30 teams in Major League Baseball and have enough left to build a few state-of-the-art stadiums.

Of course, that’s assuming the state would spend nothing on its actual responsibilities, like public education and roads and bridges. But for our purposes, it helps illustrate the sheer volume of state spending that’s on the table.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150319/total-cost-of-pennsylvanias-proposed-budget-786-billion

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Many School Districts Tapping Reserve Funds To Close Budget Gaps

Governor says schools must spend such money rather than rely on state
 

When budgets are tight, school districts sometimes have to dip into reserve funds to make ends meet.

It’s not something they like to do, but these are desperate times.

“We can’t count on doing this every year,” said Dr. Paul B. Eaken, Fleetwood superintendent.

This is the second year in a row that Fleetwood has relied on its reserves; the district spent $1.4 million to balance the 2011-12 budget.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=389527

Allentown School Taxes Could Rise Nearly 5%

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown School Board on Thursday approved a proposed $235 million spending plan for 2012-13 that includes a nearly 5 percent tax hike.

The board’s 8-1 vote means a property owner’s tax bill would rise about $86, to $1,890, on a home assessed at the district’s $37,500 average. The millage rate would go up 2.3 mills to about 50.4.

Superintendent Russ Mayo faulted Gov. Tom Corbett for shifting a greater financial burden on school districts.

He said the governor’s proposed state budget for 2012-13 has about $100 million less for kindergarten, tutoring and class-size programs. That’s on top of the $900 million in school funding he cut statewide in 2011-12.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-school-budget-0524-20120525,0,4061905.story

Pennsylvania State Workers Have Bad Case Of The Jitters – Layoffs Loom Again

Map of Pennsylvania

Image via Wikipedia

Many state workers fear that Tom Corbett will keep his pledge to downsize the number of state employees by a 10% across the board cut as promised during his campaign.  Governor-elect Corbett wants to review the funding for each state program to make sure they are operating correctly. 

The Service Employees Union has prepared a list of nonpersonnel cost-saving suggestions that could save Pennsylvania millions of dollars.  The same union has a large number of employees that will qualify for retirement next year thereby eliminating workers by attrition instead of layoffs.

Pennsylvania has a huge pension crisis looming on the horizon along with other financial problems that are recession related.  Hard choices will need to be made to cover the multi-billion-dollar budget gap.  Early retirement incentives are being offered to state employees as a way to cut the state’s workforce.

Pennsylvania has the second largest state government while being the sixth largest state in population.  Many hard choices will need to be made to get Pennsylvania’s financial house in order.