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First War, Then Peace

War & Peace.jpg

Gov. Corbett presented his budget for the next fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with great pomp and fanfare.  The budget, which totals $28.4 billion, is enumerated in excruciating detail in a budget book equal in thickness to War and Peace.

In reality, though, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

We may not recognize all the grand programs and great ideas set forth by Corbett once the legislature gets through reworking his budget plan.  And it will rework it.

Although both the state House and Senate are controlled by Republicans -- who nominally follow their Republican governor -- they have shown an independent streak during Corbett's first two years in office, rearranging numbers and priorities at will. 

Why? Partly because they can.  The legislature is a co-equal branch of government and often reshapes a governor's priorities to suit themselves.

Partly because, frankly, the disagree with the governor's goals. Corbett, for instance, tried to whack hard at state aid to state colleges and universities.  The legislature refused.

Corbett wanted vouchers for non-public schools.  He didn't get them. 

I'm not going to say Republicans are in rebellion against their governor, but it sometimes looks like that.

Let's take the budget case by case and match it against the governor's latest proposals.


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