PA DEP, DCNR on Hot Seat to Defend Budget Surpluses

Last September, amidst a heated state budget battle in Pennsylvania (where the phrase “severance tax” was on the lips of every Democrat and RINO in Harrisburg), a group of PA House Republicans did the hard work Gov. Tom Wolf and his cronies in the legislature refused to do: They figured out how to fund a wildly overspent budget without raising a single tax (see PA House Introduces Balanced Budget with NO Severance Tax). How did House Republicans do it? They looked at state agencies hording money, with a plan to relieve them of their surplus. When Republicans went looking, they found even the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been squirreling money away, unused in some of their programs. The House Republican plan from last September was not adopted, but elements of it were included in the final budget. The final budget, passed in October, instructs Gov. Wolf to reallocate $300 million from surpluses at various state agencies–from the agencies of his own choosing–as part of the “funding” for this year’s budget. The House Appropriations Committee held a meeting yesterday to question DCNR Sec. Cindy Dunn and DEP Sec. Pat McDonnell about the use and operation of special funds under their purview–to see if there’s a bit of surplus there that can be used for the state budget. Here’s how it went…

Please Login to view this content. (Not a member? Join Today!)
You do not have permission to view the comments.

Please Login to post a comment