The Rendell Administration has announced a $161 million budget cut that eliminates 32 line items. The spending reduction is meant to counter lower than expected tax revenues.
The reductions ordered by Governor Rendell eliminate state funding for regional cancer institutes, bio-technology research, zoos, agriculture promotion and health care clinics, among other line items.
State support for public television stations, already drastically reduced by this year’s budget, has been halved.
Rendell’s spokesman, Gary Tuma, says the cuts are a response to a projected 450-million dollar revenue shortfall.
"The budget office and the central administration worked with the cabinet agencies. Went back and forth and made some determinations about where they thought they could cut, and what was possible and what was advisable, and what wasn’t. All of these cuts are painful. None of these cuts are ones that the governor or anyone else in the administration really wants to make."
Rendell ordered an across the board one percent reduction to all line items, and followed that up with more than 90 million dollars in cuts to discretionary grants.
Tuma notes the money has been placed in budgetary reserves.
That means it could be restored if the state’s financial picture suddenly improves.