At Pa. budget summit, Corbett unconvinced by legislative counterproposal

    Pennsylvania’s GOP legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Corbett have been holding private budget negotiations all week.

    Corbett makes no bones about the fact that budget talks have been a Republicans-only affair so far -– they are in the majority, after all.

    But there’s still plenty of dissension over the state spending plan due by the end of the month.

    The governor says he’s had to tell legislative leaders their plan to spend millions dollars more than his original $27.14 billion proposal isn’t going to work.

    “I have to say that we have seen some improvement in receipt of revenues so I’m looking for some areas that I can put money back into the budget, but I don’t believe I can go as high as the Senate and the House,” Corbett said Friday.

    He cites concerns about rising health-care and pension costs as reasons for opposing such large restorations in funding for higher education, public schools, and social services programs.

    He made his remarks on the Radio Pennsylvania show, “Ask the Governor.”

    A recent Franklin & Marshall College poll shows Corbett’s unfavorable rating at 39 percent, up by seven points since January.

    But Corbett says dips in popularity don’t sway him.

    “If I pay any attention to that, I won’t govern,” he said.

    The same poll found 32 percent of respondents having a favorable opinion of Corbett.

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