House Democrats sound off on budget, property tax reform

House Democrats sound off on budget, property tax reform

House Democrats are already chalking up a win in their column for this budget cycle: Being included in the process.

“The good news is, unlike the last four years, House Democrats have been meeting with the governor,” said Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny). “That’s a welcomed change and it’s going well.”

He also said the caucus leadership is excited to see Rep. Stan Saylor’s (R-York) property tax legislation get a committee vote this week as it puts a vehicle in place to input common-ground findings on the issue.

“It’s an indication and a sign that we can hopefully find some common ground on the property tax issue and the rest of the budget issues,” he stated. 

Monday, April 20, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

Thursday marked the end of the three-week House Appropriations Committee budget hearing process where committee members and other interested Representatives heard from nearly every facet of state government receiving funding in the coming fiscal year’s budget.

The PLS Reporter caught up with a few of the committee’s member to get their thoughts on the budget hearing process and what they think will happen with Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget going forward.

“Generally, it’s a lot of what we expected,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “Not a lot of answers on specifics, they kept it at ‘it’s a comprehensive plan,’ which kind of triggers ‘we want everything and we’re not willing to negotiate,’ which is very bad moving forward meaning it’s either this or nothing.”

In the end, he said, more questions remain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal will be altered, House Approps chairs say

Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal will be altered, House Approps chairs say

Both chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee—Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) and Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny)—agreed Thursday that after the first week of budget hearings the governor’s proposed budget will definitely change.

“I’ve always said that the governor’s proposal…it’s just a blueprint and we work off of the governor’s blueprint,” Rep. Adolph told The PLS Reporter. “I always start with last year’s budget as the starting point.”

Rep. Markosek commented that there is always change after the budget hearing process is concluded.

“His budget is the size of a phonebook, so my guess is there’ll be some changes,” he said. “Besides the governor’s office, there’s four caucuses involved, so obviously everybody’s going to have their say.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
How Gov. Wolf’s budget will impact the middle class depends on who you ask

How Gov. Wolf’s budget will impact the middle class depends on who you ask

While the annual legislative budget hearings got kicked off Monday, the Commonwealth Foundation added its voice to the budget mix by holding a news conference where it claimed Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget will cost middle class families an additional $1,419.

Foundation president and CEO Matthew Brouillette said the budget proposed by Gov. Wolf will bring the Commonwealth to a grinding halt.

“It will be the very people Gov. Wolf claims he wants to help who will be harmed the most by his proposals,” he said. “The governor would require the average family of four to deal with $1,400 less in their household budgets.”

Monday, March 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
IFO downgrades structural deficit by as much as $400 million

IFO downgrades structural deficit by as much as $400 million

The Independent Fiscal Office reported to the House Appropriations Committee Monday that the structural deficit facing budget crafters might be less than originally thought.

Asked by Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) about how increased revenues have impacted a previously reported IFO deficit estimate of $1.8 billion, Office director Matthew Knittel reported it has been reduced by $300-$400 million landing somewhere around $1.5 billion.

“We would revise it down to somewhere around $1.5 [billion] or $1.6 [billion],” he told committee members while noting it is difficult to determine the exact number due to supplemental appropriations.

Monday, March 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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