The State Budget
On February 7th, Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his proposed $27.14 billion state budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I spent several weeks taking part in hearings on every area of the state budget. This will be another year of spending cuts and belt-tightening as we look for ways to make government work more efficiently.
Below are several charts I believe you will find useful. The first chart reflects all the revenue spent by the Commonwealth – both from the State General Fund and Federal Revenues from Washington. The second and third charts deal with proposed expenditures by revenue source, including the state general fund, federal funds and special funds.
The proposed General Fund budget (above) is $27.14 billion – a decrease of $20 million, or 0.1 percent, from 2011-12, a year that saw only the second reduction in the total state operating budget in at least 40 years.
The above chart shows Pennsylvania spends 40.4% of all General Fund dollars on Education (PreK-12 and Higher Ed); and an additional 38.8% on our Welfare Department. Spending on these two departments alone account for 79.2% of our State's budget.
So after spending an additional 11.8% for Corrections and Debt Service, only 9% of our budget is left for "All Other" departments and programs, including:
The bar chart immediately above shows that state funding for Basic Education (in green) was not slashed last year. In fact, it was increased from levels set by the previous administration. Some of the confusion regarding funding is due to the loss of federal stimulus dollars (in red).
Drafting of the 2012-13 state budget is still in the early stages. Both chambers of the General Assembly are reviewing the governor's proposed spending plan, and the final budget will likely be different from what was proposed. The above information helps to provide context as we work to meet the fiscal challenges of this year, and in budget years to come.
Mifflin County District Office
Perry County District Office