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Governor Tom Corbett Delivers 2014-2015 Budget Address

As he faces record low poll numbers, Governor Tom Corbett laid out his proposed budget for next year Tuesday in Harrisburg.
As he faces record low poll numbers, Governor Tom Corbett laid out his proposed budget for 2014-2015 Tuesday in Harrisburg.

His spending plan includes no direct tax increase and focused heavily on education and pension reform.

The governor delivered his budget having already announced his plans to seek re-election.

Democrats quickly responded to his address. Some say it was misguided. Others called it a fairytale.

"Our business is in the here and now," Governor Corbett said.

Focusing on education, jobs and human services, Governor Corbett spoke for less than an hour at the State Capital.

"Every child in this state should be ready to learn, ready to grow, ready to succeed and my budget sets an agenda in that spirit," Governor Corbett said.

Corbett is calling for an increase of $20 million in funding for special education. He also wants to help kids pay for college by providing an additional $25 million for students to get a two-or-four year degree.

"Specifically for education, what I think he's doing is unprecedented," State Senator Gene Yaw from the 23rd District said.

Pension reform is another goal of the governor.

He is asking lawmakers to temporarily lower the minimum amount the state has to pay into its pension funds in order to save money.

"We must fix this. Those who say there is no pension problem are misinformed. They are in denial," Governor Corbett said.

Democrats quickly pounced. They say the governor's plan is just kicking the can down the road and will cause bigger problems later on.

"We can't just balance this budget with pension reforms and we can't re-neg on our responsibilities to make contributions," State Senator John Blake from the 22nd District said.

Hundreds of people rallied in the Capital Rotunda as the governor's speech was underway, calling Corbett "Corporate Corbett," saying he cares more about the business sector than people.

"The message is, we know," parent Evette Crosby said. "We know what you're doing with funding and it's not good."

It will now be up to lawmakers in both the Pennsylvania House and Senate to go through the budget details and pass a spending plan before June 30th.

"This is a starting point. We have a lot of work to do over the next several weeks with the appropriations hearings," State Senator Lisa Baker from the 20th District said.
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