the influx. It's heartbreaking."
While the legislature did not sign on to Corbett's proposal for a wholesale shift away from designated funding to counties for social services, it agreed to a 20-county pilot program.
The governor also bended to Republican lawmakers, who control the House and Senate, on the spending side. His original proposal reduced spending below 2011-12 levels -- at the cost of hundreds of millions in aid to colleges and deeper social-services cuts. But higher-than-anticipated revenue put enormous pressure on lawmakers to bump up spending by 1.5 percent and restore most of the cuts.
Among the last-minute points of contention was a proposal made public only late last week to enact a moratorium on gas drilling in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.
That proposal set off a furor among Democratic lawmakers from Western Pennsylvania and other gas-drilling regions who were stunned to learn that the Southeastern counties would not have to comply with a months-old state law with no such moratoriums and that forbids local zoning exclusions.
But the plan was approved, and there will be no drilling in the untapped South Newark Basin natural-gas reservoir, which lies below much of Bucks County as well as other portions of Southeastern Pennsylvania, until at least 2017.
The legislators would not explain their motivation. But critics quickly pounced on the moratorium, calling it an attempt to curry political favor with constituents in the southeast who are angry over some of the provisions in the state's new fee on natural-gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, located mainly in the northern and southwestern regions.
To understand how confident Corbett was in the outcome of the budget talks, his staff issued a news release after the budget signing saying that his plan to overhaul the way charter schools operate had been finalized, when in fact, it had failed.
The disagreement between the House and Senate over competing charter school reform plans dragged on almost to midnight. The governor had wanted legislation to create a state commission to authorize new charter schools, taking that power from local school boards.
On Saturday, the two chambers passed dueling proposals, each containing provisions that no one had any information about before they were brought up for a public vote. Both would give the state more say in overseeing charter schools but leave local school boards in charge of authorizing them.
Other education-related initiatives that passed the legislature were one establishing a process to identify and deal with distressed schools, and another that changes the way public school teachers are evaluated, from a system now based entirely on classroom observation to one that would be based in part on student scores.
The Pa. Budget at a Glance
The big picture
On paper, state spending increases by $471 million, or 1.7 percent, from this year's $27.1 billion. Corbett had proposed holding spending level, but agreed to the increase because of improving tax collections. In reality, state spending increases by $371 million, or 1.4 percent, because of public school grants that were spent in 2011-12, but retroactively budgeted in 2010-11.
No change in the state income or sales taxes.
Several tax cuts for businesses would be folded into companion legislation, including the continuation of the ongoing phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax, and expanded tax credits for businesses that contribute to groups that can provide scholarships to private schools.
Increases in spending
$856 million, a 43 percent increase, for school-employee pensions.
$1.1 billion, a 5 percent increase, for payments on debt.
$308 million, a 3 percent increase, for the judiciary.
$5.4 billion, a 0.9 percent increase, for instruction and operations in public school districts.
$542 million, a 0.7 per increase, for public-school pupil transportation.
$10.6 billion, an increase of less than 0.5 percent, for the Department of Public Welfare, which includes health care for the poor, and child care and services for the disabled.
Decreases in spending
$345 million, a 9.5 percent decrease, in financial assistance for college students. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency would raise its subsidy from $50 million to $75 million to keep funding level.
$125 million, an 8.7 percent decrease, for the Department of Environmental Protection.
$272 million for the Legislature, a 0.3 percent decrease that preserves $12 million Corbett had proposed to cut.
No change in spending
$413 million for the 14 state-owned universities in the State System of Higher Education.
$228 million for Pennsylvania State University.
$136 million for the University of Pittsburgh.
$140 million for Temple University.
$212 million for community colleges, for which Corbett had proposed a $10 million increase.
$100 million for "accountability" grants that help pay for full-day kindergarten in public schools. Corbett had proposed eliminating the program.
$1.9 billion for the Corrections Department.
$319 million in savings from the proposed elimination of cash payments for about 70,000 participants in the General Assistance program and new minimum work requirements for about 30,000 General Assistance recipients who are medically needy.
- Associated Press
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