Budget secretary defends Corbett on tapping funds

    Pennsylvania’s budget secretary is defending the governor’s proposal to dip into special funds originally slated for things such as investments in state parks and forests and the horseracing industry.

    Charles Zogby says they were created to catch certain tax revenues and earmark them for certain purposes.

    “What we’re suggesting with the budget this year is to direct those special funds back into the General Fund to support General Fund activities, and we’re proposing those as permanent redirections,” he said.

    One proposed transfer would shrink a grant program used for public parks, forests, and land conservation.

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    John Quigley, a former Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary in the Rendell administration, says those dollars went to nearly every county.

    For that reason, he said, the grants are popular and past attempts to raid their feeder fund have been beaten back by state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

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