Gillen: Corbett budget proposal "starting point" for negotiations

Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark Gillen (R-128) of Berks County recently called the budget proposal put forth by Republican Governor Tom Corbett a "starting point" in budget negotiations that will likely continue over the next several months.

Corbett's budget proposal calls for approximately $29.4 billion in spending - an increase of approximately $1 billion compared to the current budget.

"We will have to comb through the numbers to determine if that level of spending is sustainable on a long-term basis," Gillen said. "There may be areas where numbers need to be adjusted to reflect the Commonwealth's ability to support initiatives based on the long-term projections of revenue growth."

Included in the proposal is a $10.6 billion increase in education spending, $360 million above the current budget.

Pennsylvania's state House and Senate appropriations committees will kick off a series of hearings to delve into the details of the governor's proposal, providing lawmakers with critical information that will be used to draft a final budget bill.

"Today was day one in a process that will last several months," Gillen said. "The governori' proposal is far from a finished product. The General Assembly and the people we are elected to represent will have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposals outlined by the governor and adjust the initial plan to reflect the will of the people of Pennsylvania."