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Budget Hearings End, General Assembly Back March 10

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees this week concluded hearings on Governor Corbett’s 2014-15 state budget proposal. Speaking before the House Committee, Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said that the administration is prepared to modify its proposal if projected revenue marks are not reached.
“We’ve been through this in past years; if the estimates change, if the outlooks change, we’ll be prepared to also change to meet those, whether they’re good or bad. Obviously we hope for more upside than downside, but we’re prepared in either case,” Zogby told lawmakers.
In regard to testimony from other state agency heads, House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) told Zogby that “What they told us was very interesting, what they left out was very vital.” Markosek went on to say that he is concerned that the proposal is full of “one-time gimmicks” and revenue assumptions that may not be realistic.  
Zogby called Markosek’s statements “mischaracterization” of the state’s financial position and the Governor’s policies.
In an election year with big ticket items like education spending, liquor reform and pension reform yet to be agreed on, it will likely be a long road to the June 30 budget deadline.