What does Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget plan mean for Philly?

Gov. Tom Corbett
Gov. Tom Corbett.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday rolled out his annual state budget proposal, and officials on both sides of the political aisle were displeased.

“Democrats are railing against it, passionately railing against it,” said pollster G. Terry Madonna.

He said a particularly heated debate was sparked by Corbett’s refusal to accept federal monies to expand Medicaid coverage expansion to an estimated 500,000 Pennsylvanians who make too much to receive aid under current law, but can’t afford private insurance.

“Walking away from reducing Pennsylvania’s uninsured population by 41 percent is short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible,” U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D–Pa) said.

“Republicans are not sure about the privatization of the liquor control system,” Madonna said. “And some of them have raised questions about the lottery management privatization.”

Activists closer to home worried about education and social services, whose funding largely relies on cuts to state employee pension plans and one-time income sources, while is at the same time undermined by a large package of proposed corporate tax cuts.

“Our city really is hurting in terms of funding if you look at our schools, if you look at what’s happening with our public services,” said Gwen Snyder of Philadelphia-based advocacy group Jobs with Justice. “Gov. Corbett is starving our city in the sense that we need for our children to succeed and for our economy to recover.”

Though he provided increased funding for state police and some victim assistance programs, Corbett also failed to earmark funds to address many of the public safety issues facing cities – namely, gun violence.

“We’re not surprised,” Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePa said. “He has been on record saying that we don’t really need gun laws, and this is not the time for new policy, but we were hoping that he would decide to address that in the wake of the national attention that’s been brought.”

- with additional reporting from Tommy Rowan

 

Voters unlikely to budge

 

Madonna said that Corbett’s plan came as no surprise and is unlikely to sway voters during the governor’s 2014 re-election bid.

“There isn’t anything that voters are going to latch onto and say, ‘Uh-oh, this is something really bad or something really great,’” Madonna said. “This was expected.”

He noted that plans for liquor privatization were announced at a series of press conferences prior to the address, while pension and infrastructure reforms were much hinted-at.

Madonna said he’s not confident the budget will affect Corbett’s approval rating, which currently hovers around a dismal 36 percent.

“It’s at a historic low level for a governor,” he said. “I think he needs to vigorously sell this agenda. He’s doing a bit better at that and conducting a lot more visits, but he needs to really get a handle on this agenda here.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…