Highlights of Republicans' 2014-15 budget plan

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm •  Published: June 30, 2014
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Highlights of the Republican-crafted spending plan for the 2014-15 year that starts Tuesday. The main appropriations bill passed the Senate, 26-24, and the House, 108-95. Some major revenue and spending items remained unclear because companion budget legislation was just emerging Monday night. Comparisons are to the budget approved for the 2013-14 fiscal year:

THE BIG PICTURE

— Increases spending by $723 million, or 2.5 percent, to $29.1 billion over the current year's approved budget. Counting another $220 million that it would add to the books of the 2013-14 fiscal year that ends Monday, the entire package is a $943 million increase, or about 3.3 percent.

— Generates $29.6 billion through taxes, fees and other revenue sources, an increase of $1 billion, or 3.5 percent.

TAXES/REVENUES

— Contains no new taxes.

— Continues to phase out the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax, which was targeted for elimination this year but is now slated to expire in 2016.

— Reduces the time period in which unclaimed property must be held by institutions and businesses from five years to three, generating $150 million in one-time revenue.

— Calls for the extraction of natural gas from beneath state-owned parks and forests through drilling on private, adjacent lands that does not require any surface impact on public lands, generating $95 million in immediate revenue and additional future royalties.

— Relies on more than $700 million from off-budget lottery sales, legal settlement money paid by tobacco companies and revenue from oil and gas drilling on state lands.

— Transfers $100 million from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund and $100 million from the Small Business First Fund.

— Postpones the payment of nearly $400 million to providers of medical care and mental health services under Medicaid.

— Transfers $75 million from fees paid by the state's licensed casino owners.

EDUCATION

— Does not increase $5.5 billion in basic education funding to public schools for instructional and operational costs.

— Provides $100 million in new money for Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed new "Ready to Learn" block grant program that will provide a menu of options that guide school districts on how they can use the money.

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