Pennsylvania state budget receives no Democratic support
By Lauren Rodgers
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: None of Pennsylvania's 111 Democratic members of the general assembly voted in support of the state budget that moved late yesterday to Governor Tom Corbett's desk for final approval. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the state budget late yesterday by a vote of 109-92, with two Republican representatives, Dennis O'Brien and John Taylor - both of Philadelphia - voting against the budget. Earlier in the week, the budget passed in the state senate with a strict party-line vote.
The commonwealth faced an almost $4 billion deficit, and the version of the budget that made it to Corbett's desk will fulfill a campaign promise the state's chief executive made to cut government spending and minimize tax increases.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai went on record saying the budget eliminated wasteful spending, and touted it as "a historic budget in that it is fiscally responsible, prioritized and on time." Many of the state's Democratic representatives voiced their concern during a lengthy debate on the house floor, warning that cuts in education spending could lead to higher property taxes, fewer teachers, and increases in tuition. Representative Camille "Bud" George, expressing the frustration he likely shares with the other 90 representatives in the minority party, dubbed the budget "the great recession of compassion, of common sense and of kindness."