Governor Corbett signs budget, but vetoes legislative funding

Written by Marie Cusick | Jul 10, 2014 2:00 PM
corbett budget.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Bradley C Bower

Governor Corbett holds a copy of state budget documents during a news conference Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Harrisburg. Corbett, who signed state budget documents earlier in the day, is vetoing millions of dollars from the Legislature's budget and urging lawmakers to make a new effort to address public-sector pensions.

(Harrisburg) -- After a 10-day standoff with the Pennsylvania Legislature, Governor Corbett has finally signed the $29.1 billion budget lawmakers handed to him more than a week ago.

However, he’s using his executive power to line-item veto funding for the General Assembly and sharply criticizing lawmakers for failing to enact a pension overhaul.

Corbett is nixing $65 million in funding to the General Assembly and another $7.2 million in legislative-designated funding to state agencies.

The governor is urging legislators to replace the state’s pension system with a less-costly 401(k) style program for future hires.

He says the system is an unfunded liability which amounts to $50 billion.

“The General Assembly left Harrisburg earlier this month with unfinished business. They need to come back and enact pension reform.”

With legislators scheduled to return in September, Corbett wouldn’t say whether he’ll call them back into a special session this summer, only that “all options” are on the table.

“This is a reform that has been debated across this state and in the halls of this building for three years now. It’s time to stop talking around the edges and enact meaningful reform.”

Senate Republican leaders issued a response, calling Corbett’s decision “horribly concerning” adding that the state budget process is not a game.

The story from the Associated Press earlier today:

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Corbett is vetoing millions of dollars from the Legislature's budget and urging lawmakers to make a new effort to address public-sector pensions. 

"Today, we spend 63 cents of every new dollar of revenue that comes into the state on pensions costs," he said. "It's absolutely unsustainable and is devouring our state's budget."

The Republican governor says he had signed state budget documents more than a week after the state's new fiscal year began without a spending plan in place.  

Corbett says he's cut $65 million from lawmakers' budget and $7.2 million from projects designated by the Legislature.

The pension systems represent a growing financial strain on state government and local school districts, but so far Corbett has not been able to get a deal to his desk.  

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