Governor Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion flawed state budget on Thursday while vetoing a portion of legislative spending to underscore his call for lawmakers to pass public pension reform.
But Corbett, a Republican, has so far been unsuccessful in getting a Republican-controlled legislature to cut pension benefits for future state government and public school employees.
Corbett ironically suggested the absence of pension reform is forcing school districts to raise property taxes. But the governor failed to say he has proposed and signed previous state budgets that slashed school funding and that the state’s absence of a fair school funding formula is also forcing school districts to raise property taxes and other taxes.
Philadelphia is a clear example of a municipality that had to raise taxes because of inadequate state funding for schools.
The House is scheduled to return to Harrisburg Aug. 4-6 to consider pension legislation and a bill to let Philadelphia increase its cigarette tax to fund public schools.