State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Corbett takes questions on his budget

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 7, 2014 11:53 AM

Photo by Heather Woolridge / witf

From the department of shameless plugs: our guest this morning on witf's Smart Talk Friday was Gov. Corbett. The show marked, to my knowledge, the first time the governor himself has taken questions on his budget proposal. You can listen to the entire show on our website.

Matt Paul hosted the program; I rode shotgun. We covered a lot of ground, including the administration's plans for education funding, expanding natural gas extraction from state lands, and securing federal approval for its alternative to Medicaid expansion. One thing we didn't talk about in any detail was the governor's proposal to change payments into the public pension systems.

Corbett defended the four percent state revenue growth projection baked into his budget proposal, and the Associated Press followed up to provide some helpful context:

Gov. Tom Corbett is defending his administration's projection of a 4 percent increase in revenue next year, which would be the biggest such increase since the economy began recovering from the recession in 2009.

Corbett told WITF-FM's Smart Talk program Friday that his administration is banking on higher economic growth.

The current fiscal year is based on a 1.6 percent increase in revenue. A 4 percent increase would push the state's overall tax collections past $30 billion for the first time. On Tuesday, Corbett proposed a $29.4 billion in spending, up more than 3 percent.

In the meantime, this year's tax collections were slightly behind expectations at the end of January. The rate of job growth in Pennsylvania has slowed every year since Corbett became governor in 2011.

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