Pa. budget chief vows to cut pork-barrel spending

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget boss says he’s tightening the purse of a Pennsylvania program long denounced for spreading pork-barrel spending throughout the state.

    In a TV ad that ran during the 2010 campaign for governor, Corbett called out a $10 million grant to build the Arlen Specter Library at Philadelphia University. The money for that and other grants like it came out of the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program, or RCAP.

    Many have argued that the grants are driven by politics–and not just an aim to create jobs and support communities.

    State Budget Secretary Charles Zogby says it’s time to scrutinize the RCAP program.

    “The process has been, I think, historically more of a black box and so we’re trying to shed some light on that and I think folks have had some legitimate questions as well in terms of the efficacy of the projects,” Zogby said.

    Reforming how RCAP grants are approved is part of a larger effort to cut the capital budget.

    The state House grudgingly approved a capital budget in its last week of voting before the holiday recess.

    House Republicans said they want more oversight of how capital budget grants are awarded and which projects are funded.

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