2011-09-22 / Local & State

Surplus Money May Be Needed For Cleanup

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Gov. Tom Corbett says it was prudent not to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus revenues to restore budget cuts because that money may now be needed to repair stormdamaged roads and bridges.

Corbett told a gathering of Republican State Committee members in Harrisburg on Saturday that inspection of 1,500 bridges in northeast and central Pennsylvania was needed after massive flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. He said federal dollars will only pay for about 75 percent of repair costs.

In June, Corbett resisted calls from Democrats to use more than $700 million in year-end surplus funds to ease education and social service budget cuts. The state faced a $4 billion deficit, but revenues rebounded near the end of the fiscal year.

But now, the governor said, state revenues from tax collections are down again, and some of the year-end revenue may be needed for emergencies despite federal help.

The Pittsburgh Post- Gazette says Corbett also said he still supports a Senate GOP proposal to change how the state’s electoral votes are allocated but will “keep an open mind’’ as the Legislature begins hearings on the issue this fall.

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