Budget hearings begin in era of “new normal”

Budget hearings begin in era of “new normal”

The legislature Tuesday began its three-week slate of budget hearings in what one ranking Appropriations Committee member called an era of “new normal.”

 

The budget hearing process, undertaken by the Appropriations Committee in the House and Senate, traditionally takes place in the period following the governor’s budget address and before the run-up to the enactment of the state budget in early summer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Monthly revenue numbers finally exceed estimate, but still lag in year-to-date collections

Monthly revenue numbers finally exceed estimate, but still lag in year-to-date collections

With the turning over of a new month, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released its monthly revenue figures for October, noting revenue exceeded estimates by $36.1 million.

 

Collections in October were largely driven by corporate tax collections, which were nearly $32 million over estimate. While the sales tax collections also exceeded expectations, collections for the personal income tax fell short of their estimated amount.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
$1.2 billion borrowed to cover General Fund expenses

$1.2 billion borrowed to cover General Fund expenses

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that the state Budget Office has borrowed an additional $1.2 billion from the $2.5 billion credit line the Treasury extended the General Fund in August to ensure the state’s main bank account does not go into a negative balance.

 

Since the credit line was authorized just under a month ago, total borrowing has come to $1.6 billion, including the initial $400 million borrowed in August when the credit line was first authorized.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Legality of budget impasse spending approvals put in legislative crosshairs

Legality of budget impasse spending approvals put in legislative crosshairs

Two Senate committees—Appropriations and Finance—held a joint hearing Monday to determine the legality of payments being made by the Treasury Department under the auspices of “public health, safety, and welfare” that are above budgeted amounts.

“In the past, when the General Assembly has not been able to approve a fiscal year spending plan along with the governor by the end of the fiscal year, payments of these costs are normally understood to be made under the platform of health and safety,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh). “A question has arisen: is it appropriate and legal for payments to be made when a fiscal year appropriation act has been approved and payments are made in excess of that appropriation in that same fiscal cycle.”

Monday, February 8, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
With General Fund almost out of money, Treasury opens up $2 billion credit line to keep cash flowing

With General Fund almost out of money, Treasury opens up $2 billion credit line to keep cash flowing

For the second time in 16 months, Pennsylvania’s Treasury has had to open up a credit line in order to ensure the state’s General Fund cash balance does not drop below zero and state money can keep flowing out to those who need it.

According to a news release from the Pennsylvania Treasury, the General Fund was in danger of falling $922 million in the red next week as money is sent to those relying on state funds after the governor’s line-item veto of a budget plan allowed its expenditure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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