Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) was never really thought of as a TEA Party candidate, nor were most of the Republicans who ran for the state legislature in 2010, but we’ve gotten the government Pennsylvanians wanted. The Republican-controlled state legislature and Governor Corbett ran right up until the deadline to get the FY2013 state budget passed and signed into law, but they did get it done, something that wasn’t exactly commonplace when the Democrats controlled the state House of Representatives and Democrat Ed Rendell was our Governor:
By Amy Worden and Angela Couloumbis, Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG – A triumphant Gov. Corbett signed the new state budget with minutes to spare before the deadline late Saturday, winning bipartisan support for his pro-jobs agenda, holding the line on taxes, and restoring hundreds of millions in education funding that he had targeted for elimination just months ago.
Flanked by House GOP lawmakers, Corbett put his pen to the first of a series of bills authorizing the $27.65 billion spending plan at 11:45 p.m., just shy of the start of the new fiscal year, while debate still raged in the Senate over a last-minute addition to the fiscal code, an essential budget element. . . .
“Our taxpayers deserve government that works for them,” the governor said. “Today we reaffirm our commitment to job growth, to education, to the needy, and to the taxpayers.”
Governor Corbett had originally proposed a lower spending amount, $27.1 billion, but higher-than-anticipated revenue collections enabled the Governor and state legislature to restore some of the cuts the Governor had proposed, and still keep the budget balanced. And the Republicans kept the promises on which they ran: getting the budget passed, on time and in balance, without raising taxes.
The Democrats went absolutely ape when Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) pushed through some controversial legislation which removed a lot of power from state employee unions, controversial enough that the unions and the liberals — please pardon the redundancy — were able to get enough signatures to force a recall election on Governor Walker. Mr Walker survived the recall, actually cruising to a larger victory than when he won election the first time in 2010, not necessarily because the cheeseheads liked curtailing union power, but because Governor Walker and the state legislature kept the most basic Republican promise of these days: they took a looming state budget deficit, and passed a balanced budget by cutting spending, not increasing taxes.
There were some painful cuts in spending involved, but today’s Republicans don’t shy away from cutting spending, if that is what is needed to balance budgets and keep the promises that were made to the voters. The voters might not like some of the individual decisions taken to get those budgets in balance, but the voters do appreciate the keeping of promises.