Ladies and gentlemen, we give you The Budget. After restoring some $600 million that was absent in Governor Corbett’s original proposal, the General Assembly passed and sent to the governor a $27.7 billion spending plan that at once was hailed as The Best Budget Ever and The Big Corporate Giveaway. It features:
- A spending increase of less than 2 percent over the 2011-12 budget, with no new taxes.
- Level funding for public universities and most school districts, as well as some extra dough for financially struggling schools such as Harrisburg, which apparently will be able to keep half-day kindergarten in place.
- A 10 percent cut in county-provided human service programs and elimination of a $200 per month grant that in the past has helped about 70,000 poor and disabled people per year.
- Related legislation that includes a 25-year, $1.7 billion tax credit to lure an ethane refinery to western PA.