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  January 2, 2014

Mid-Year Budget Briefing
The 2013-14 was the third on-time budget signed into law by Governor Corbett. Recently, I held the mid-year budget briefing, updating the people of Pennsylvania on our current fiscal status and the day to day management of our more than $28 billion state budget. We continue to make record investments in education and early childhood programs, programs for individuals with disabilities, older Pennsylvanians and low-income families.

We continue to aggressively innovate, refine the delivery of programs and services and look for areas to increase non-tax revenues. We have reduced the size of state government by nearly 2,800 employees and we have consolidated services, back office operations and made performance improvements that have saved taxpayers nearly $440 million since 2011. That’s nearly half a billion dollars that can benefit the people of Pennsylvania that rely upon government programs and services.

Since Governor Corbett took office the nearly 143,000 private sector jobs have been created in Pennsylvania assisted by significant government investment in creating job-growth opportunities for the people of Pennsylvania. Those investments continue to pay huge dividends for hard-working families and the organizations that employ them. More companies are coming to Pennsylvania and continue to fuel Pennsylvania’s economic engine.

In many respects, Pennsylvania continues upon a path to prosperity. That said, the Governor continues to be vigilant in his management of costs in delivering critical government services and holding the line on undue tax burdens on Pennsylvania companies and families.

As we develop next year’s budget, we are mindful of nearly a $1.4 billion cost-to-carry structural imbalance we must overcome. The practice of making difficult decisions will need to continue, no matter how much we want to expand programs and services across the board.

As we develop next year’s budget, we are mindful of nearly a $1.4 billion cost-to-carry structural imbalance we must overcome. The practice of making difficult decisions will need to continue, no matter how much we want to expand programs and services across the board.

We also face growth in our pension obligations (nearly $610 million for both systems), hefty medical assistance increases combined with significant reductions in federal reimbursements for medical assistance, underscoring the importance of prudent fiscal management. To say the least, next year’s budget will present us with our greatest challenges yet. Stay tuned for the Governor’s budget address on February 4 to see how we meet these challenges.

For a copy of the mid-year briefing, click here.