HARRISBURG – It was Tuesday March 8, that recently elected Governor Tom Corbett (R-Pa.) delivered his first budget proposal for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, to begin in July, to a joint session of the Pennsylvania state legislature and senate. He focused very hard on not increasing taxes, rather cutting spending from different programs and education statewide.
Corbett’s budget was $27.3 billion and he knows that it will not be easy. His plan is to cut 52% of funding from state university’s and a cut of 1,500 state jobs. His main goal: Separate the “must-haves” from the “nice-to-haves.”
A total of $625 million was cut from state university funding can only mean one thing; that university’s will have to increase tuition costs. Higher education in the state was the biggest burden to the education cut in general. In July, Bloomsburg University will decide on the new tuition for attendance. It is likely that prices will increase because of the cut in funding. This comes after news that room and board will also increase for the 2011-2012 academic calendar year.
Although an agreement on the Budget does not have to be decided upon until July 2011, many say that this Republican proposal will most likely get the go-a-head for most of the key components.
Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida who have all seen newly elected Republican Governors are all experiencing or will experience the same type of effect. Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter, spoke out on Tuesday explaining his frustration to a cut in education. He says that Philadelphia (being the largest school district in the state) has lost funding for all kindergarten programs and other cuts for all grades through 12.
Gov. Corbett sounded very strong throughout his address in Harrisburg. Protests went on throughout the state outside his offices in Pittsburgh and Center City, Philadelphia because of his decisions. Not all decisions are supported by all, but Corbett did in fact stick to his campaign promise of not increasing state taxes or fees.