Gov. Tom Corbett and lawmakers were all smiles when the new state budget was signed, but there is little to celebrate.
It maintains deep cuts to schools that have forced several into financial distress. It makes it harder for people who are sick or disabled to get by. And it shifts more responsibility and costs onto local taxpayers.
Pennsylvania has already lost 14,000 jobs in public schools and universities, and this budget continues the trend.
State lawmakers deserve credit for restoring some of the worst cuts proposed by the governor and for innovative reforms that reduce prison costs by diverting nonviolent offenders to more appropriate community settings.
But this budget also offers a new round of business tax cuts that come with no commitment to create jobs and other tax breaks for well-connected interests.
Director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Harrisburg