Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett delivers his budget address in about three weeks.
Corbett called the 2010 campaign a “generational election” during a brief speech to the state Republican Party’s winter meeting in Harrisburg, and said he’s keeping the next generation of Pennsylvanians in mind, as he puts together his budget proposal. “We have to make those tremendous changes – drastic changes – in the way we have been doing things,” he said. “We can’t continue to spend their future. We can’t continue to use their credit card so we can balance our budget today.”
The Republican vowed once again to balance the budget without any tax increases. That means billions of dollars worth of cuts, though Corbett told reporters some specific line items might go up. (Which ones, you may ask? Corbett smiled and said we’ll have to wait for March 8th to find out.)
Corbett will look to generate revenue through privatization. “We’re going to look at state services that don’t necessarily have to be done by state employees that could be privatized also,” he said. The big privatization push, of course, is the state liquor store sell-off Corbett and other Republican leaders are supporting. That process officially begins Monday, when the state Senate holds a three-hour hearing on the matter.
Corbett said he wants to see a fresh study of how much money the state could generate through a sale, before the House or Senate move forward. “I think we have to ensure as to what kind of money we are talking about. My recollection is the studies that have been quoted are probably ten years old. So we need to update that,” he said.
Corbett, a former Attorney General and prosecutor, said he doesn’t want to privatize Pennsylvania’s prison system.