Despite better than expected Pa. tax revenues, Corbett sticking to school spending cuts

    Pennsylvania is taking in more tax revenue than the Corbett administration expected, but the governor says he’s sticking by his budget plan, which cuts certain higher education spending by 30 percent.

    At a Monday conference for the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, Gov. Tom Corbett acknowledged that the commonwealth’s revenues are coming in higher than expected.

    That said, he’s not backing down from his plan to make 30 percent cuts to three state-related schools – Penn State, Pitt, and Temple universities.

    Last year, their state funding was cut by about 20 percent.

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    Corbett says a 30 percent cut for Penn State would represent just 1.6 percent of the school’s operating budget.

    “How many of you have had to adjust your operating budgets as a result of economies?” Corbett said. “It’s not that I’m against Pitt or Penn State or Temple. I don’t have the money.”

    This isn’t the first time Corbett has made the case that a cut in state funding would amount to a very small piece of a school’s overall budget.

    What’s changed is the state’s latest tax revenue haul.

    Stronger-than-expected collections in April brought the current deficit to about $288 million.

    That’s $400 million less than the Corbett administration expected to be in the red by July.

    Democrats are pressuring him to lessen cuts to higher education and social services, but Corbett says that’s a bad idea until it’s apparent the state’s revenues will be consistently high.

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