Pa. governor orders another $161 million in budget cuts

    The reductions ordered by Governor Rendell eliminate state funding for regional cancer institutes, bio-technology research, agriculture promotion and health care clinics, among other line items.

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has cut another a $161 million dollars from the budget to offset additional revenue shortfalls.

    Listen:
    [audio:100113SDCUTS.mp3]

    The reductions ordered by Governor Rendell eliminate state funding for regional cancer institutes, bio-technology research, agriculture promotion and health care clinics, among other line items.

    State support for public television stations, already drastically reduced by this year’s budget, has been halved.

    Rendell’s spokesman, Gary Tuma, says the cuts are a response to a projected $450 million dollar shortfall.

    Tuma: The budget office and the central administration worked with the cabinet agencies. Went back and forth and made some determinations about where they thought they could cut, and what was possible and what was advisable, and what wasn’t. All of these cuts are painful. None of these cuts are ones that the governor or anyone else in the administration really wants to make.

    Rendell ordered an across the board 1% reduction to all line items, and followed that up with more than $90 million dollars in cuts to discretionary grants.

    Tuma notes the money has been placed in budgetary reserves.

    That means it could be restored if the state’s financial picture suddenly improves.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.