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State AG: Proposed Funding Increase Not Enough to Stave Off Furloughs

Pennsylvania’s top fiscal watchdog isn’t sure an offer from state House Republicans to hike his agency’s funding could prevent some of the layoffs planned for mid-June.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the proposed $2.6 million increase wouldn’t be enough to bring back all 67 people throughout the state who are slated to lose their positions.

"If that were to pass where we get more funding than we would anticipate, we would obviously be in a position that, you know, hopefully we could bring some people back, post-furlough, but we’re way too early to know if that’s going to be something we’re able to do or not," he said.

DePasquale said if the House Republicans’ proposed funding increase makes it into the budget, the lion’s share of it will go toward IT upgrades and an independent judicial board within the agency.

He told state lawmakers during budget hearings the agency has 24 percent fewer employees than it had five years ago and has produced 19 percent fewer audits, resulting in a backlog.

Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget proposal would flat-fund the auditor general’s office.