The budget story of the past three years is that PA Republicans have been slashing funding for education, public assistance, and support for local governments (the combination of which has resulted in big local property tax increases, since so much local spending is mandated).
The purpose of these cuts was to finance over $1.2 billion in tax cuts, on the theory that tax cuts would spur job growth, which in turn would replace the tax revenues.
No, this never made any sense, but the Republican Party has a religious belief that tax cuts increase revenues, so this has been their game plan.
That plan has utterly failed. We have to find $1.2B in cuts or tax increases in this budget, plus our pensions payments have been creeping up due to complete Republican puntage on funding. The ratings agencies are now scolding the Republicans for the last three years of funding gimmicks.
So what’s a party to do when it’s budget strategy has thrown state finances into chaos? Apparently it’s to pass half a budget, and kick the can to the Democratic Governor who’ll take office in January 2015.
Then when the Democratic Governor has to introduce his first budget, the Republicans can turn around and blame him for the unpopular decisions he’ll have to make to fix their mess!