Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts made a lot of news this week, but he actually wants to increase funding for 13 departments.
Corbett has consistently said public health and safety are government’s top priorities. His budget stuck to that philosophy, increasing funding for Health, State Police, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Corrections, among other departments.
“We need police. We need firemen. We need correctional officers and probation officers,” he said during his budget address. “We need that protection, plain and simple. This budget accounts for that.”
Corbett said increased funding will provide money for two new State Police cadet classes.
The Department of Public Welfare’s budget also increased, but that isn’t a vote of confidence from the governor, who consistently criticized the department as a home for fraud and wasted money during the 2010 campaign.
In a Friday morning interview, Corbett told KDKA Radio he’ll look to find savings in Welfare over the coming months. “Through the course of the last eight years, claims for Welfare and various programs increased dramatically,” he said. “During the same time, referrals for investigations decreased dramatically. So we’re going to be working in that area, to find the savings of money that we would have, that we would then be able to shift into next year.”
Corbett has also proposed increases in the Treasury, Revenue, General Services, State and Transportation departments; as well as the Probation and Parole and Tax Equalization boards; and the lieutenant governor’s office.