A group of fiscally conservative Republicans is making another case for reduced state spending beyond what the governor is calling for. Ed Rendell's spending plan would trim $291-million from the Department of Community and Economic Development's budget.
Republican House Whip Mike Turzai of McCandless wants to go deeper. He's proposing an additional 170-million dollars in DCED cuts. Turzai wants to use the savings to trim the state's personal income tax from 3.07 percent to 2.99. “The goal here is that we want to show that state government is willing to tighten its belts just like families and small businesses are. And that we're willing to help stimulate the economy by returning some of the dollars to them.” Cuts proposed by Turzai and other House Republicans include the elimination of the $28-million opportunity grant program, and $16 million allotted for community and regional development. Turzai says DCED cuts are an area Rendell and Republicans can reach common ground on, though he says he'll outline proposed spending reductions in other departments, as well, over the next few weeks.