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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.