Skip to content

Corbett Budget – “Strategic Investment”

Gov. Tom Corbett presented his $29.419 billion 2014-15 General Fund budget proposal on Tuesday, which reflects a $926 million increase over the current fiscal year. The Governor said his budget would “drive the values of strategic investment and prudent fiscal management to address the commonwealth’s core funding needs.”

“This commonwealth is the sixth-largest economy in the United States,” Corbett said.  “And we’ll be running at full strength as long as we concentrate on three priorities:  A great education for every child, a private sector where every business large and small can grow and hire, and a healthcare and human services system where everyone has choices and everyone is covered.”

The overall state budget includes invests $12.01 billion in state funding for students in Pennsylvania’s early, basic and postsecondary education systems, an increase of $387 million over last year’s budget.  It also spends more than $34.4 billion in total funds for health and human services programs.

Democrats, responding to the budget address, called the budget a “campaign budget, filled with one-year fixes.” They called for Medicaid expansion with federal funds now, and increases in public education and minimum wage.  Democrats would finance the increases with a severance tax on natural gas, closing state tax loopholes on corporations, and cigar and roll your own tobacco sales taxes among other sources.

On the subject of energy, the Governor said, “in the space of a few years, our state has also become the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas. Shale gas offers our country a chance at energy independence and greater economic security – and it’s part of the all-of-the-above strategy we’ve put in place. Our state is energy-rich, and we need to harness all our resources – coal, wind, solar, nuclear, hydro and gas. More…

“We are very fortunate, and we can be very proud, that the shale-gas revolution is happening right here in Pennsylvania.  Go to Williamsport, and you won’t doubt the difference that this industry is making for our state.  Talk to our local businesses – the dry cleaner and the diner owner – who are remaking Main Street. Talk to the folks at Allison Crane, NuWeld and Albert’s Spray Solutions.  These companies are seizing this opportunity, hiring local citizens for jobs, and helping to maximize our energy resources – responsibly.

Shale gas has made that region one of the top ten fastest-growing local economies in the country. It’s lifting up entire communities, creating and supporting many thousands of jobs well beyond gas production. The revival extends to manufacturing, as leading companies put Pennsylvania back on the map for investment and growth.

And it’s reducing home energy costs, right now, for Pennsylvanians. 

Big things are in motion, and shale gas is the power behind it all. It’s great for Pennsylvania, and even greater for the United States.

And we were smart enough to welcome that industry, and all those jobs, by working together with local governments, industry and environmental organizations…to craft a responsible impact fee that, by April will have generated more than $600 million in less than three years to benefit every single community in this commonwealth. It’s very simple: Energy equals jobs.

I thank you for working with me to grow this industry for the people of Pennsylvania, and to deliver energy to the rest of the world.”