PA Governor Corbett Updates State Budget for FY 2014-2015

After deliberating for several days, Governor Corbett in July signed the $29 Billion budget for FY 14-15. However, he vetoed a total of $72.2 Million of funds for the Legislature, as a way to urge the Legislature to pass pension reform legislation. Thus far, his veto has failed to have the desired effect. The Legislature remains on summer break until September 15.

Some areas of the budget of interest to PACT members:

Health Venture Investment Account and Tobacco Endowment – $225 Million in cash and investments were transferred to PSERS to count toward the Commonwealth’s employer contribution to the pension system. These Tobacco Settlement Accounts are now closed.

Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority- $14.5 Million was appropriated, level with last year’s funding.

Discovered and Developed in PA – funding for these grants was reduced to $4.91 Million, half of last year’s appropriation.

Life Science Greenhouses- $3 Million for FY 14-15.

CURE – An arbitration which put at risk $180 Million for research, was overturned by the court and resulted in $120 Million being restored to the state. In the original statute, 18% of tobacco settlement funds were to be dedicated to research. This budget appropriates 6.3% for FY 13-14, and 12.6 % FY 14-15.

Tax Credits – During budget deliberations, the House put forth a bill imposing a 2yr. hiatus on several popular tax credits, including Innovate in PA, Research & Development, KIZ, KOZ, etc. The Senate expressed no interest in this hiatus, and took no action on this concept.

Philadelphia School Funding- One bill which did not make it all the way through the legislative process prior to June 30, was HB 1177 which authorizes a $2 per pack cigarette tax on sales in Philadelphia. The tax is estimated to raise approximately $80 Million per year. House leaders have pledged to finalize action on the bill this Fall.

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