Pennsylvania’s FY 12 Balanced Budget Analysis: Read My Budget, Not My Lips

INPUT Sr. Analyst Chris Cotner reports.

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett introduced his budget in a pointed address to a joint session of the General Assembly on March 8, 2011, he quipped, “The electorate, its trust scraped to the bone by lies and half truths, isn’t going to stand for another broken promise … I said we’d cut. I’m not asking you to read my lips. I’m asking you to read my budget.” True to his word, he proposed to eliminate all $3.2 billion in previous budget increases from FY 10 to FY 11, returning the FY 12 budget to FY 10 levels of $63.5 billion in all-fund expenditures. While the quotable one-liners from Corbett’s budget address were plentiful, and even entertaining, the reality of a 4.87 percent all-funds reduction from FY 11 to FY 12 will certainly leave some agencies reeling and bring a measure of uncertainty to government contracting with the commonwealth.

For Pennsylvania, these cuts mean changing the way government is conducted. As Corbett indicated, “It’s time to peel off the duct tape and get to work on what’s broken underneath.” Specifically, the governor’s proposal focused on improving four key elements: fiscal discipline, free enterprise, limited government, and reform.

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