Corbett clarifies Pa. budget outlays

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett says tens of millions of dollars in state Capitol building improvements under his watch would go toward crucial repairs, not frivolous remodeling he charges happened under the previous administration.

    Corbett has proposed spending $55 million on repairs to the state Capitol and surrounding buildings.

    The move is creating controversy; as a gubernatorial candidate, Corbett blasted the same type of funding authorized by former governor Ed Rendell. But Corbett says Rendell’s use of $45 million on renovations is very different than his proposal for state Capitol fixes.

    “Key word – fix,” Corbett says.

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    The money would not come out of the state’s revenues, but from a fund of borrowed money. And Corbett says the state of the Capitol complex’s disrepair justifies the debt.

    It’s the second time this month the governor has had to defend a move he criticized on the campaign trail.

    Weeks ago, the controversy swirled around his approval of a state grant promised by Rendell for the Arlen Specter Library in Philadelphia.

    Corbett says, politically, he doesn’t agree with the expenditure. But legally, he says, he has no legal way out of keeping the former governor’s promise.

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