In budget meeting primer, Wolf accuses Republicans of having no desire to work together toward compromise plan

Prior to Wednesday’s scheduled meeting between legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Wolf, Wolf’s office sent an email to reporters accusing Republicans of having no desire to work toward a compromise spending plan and related legislation.

To back up their claim, the administration copied an email sent by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) to Republican senators regarding the possibility of session next week.

According to portions of the email highlighted by Wolf press secretary Jeff Sheridan, the leader told members: "Contrary to some reports last week, I can assure you that we have made very little progress since June 30.  In many ways I think we may be further apart."

"The email...from Sen. Corman highlights that Republicans have no desire to work with Gov. Wolf to reach a final agreement on a budget. Despite significant compromises put forth by the governor, Republicans have not moved a dime on education funding," Sheridan added.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Amorphous progress reported by budget negotiators after pension meeting

Amorphous progress reported by budget negotiators after pension meeting

While it may just be a feeling, legislative leaders and Gov. Tom Wolf again touted progress toward reaching a pension deal following a Thursday negotiating session on the topic.

“We had a good conversation, we’re making some progress on two really important issues: the pensions and education,” said Gov. Wolf. “We obviously have differences…but I think we had a good conversation, good discussion.”

House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) noted that while pension reform and education funding are two items the negotiators have focused on over the last two days as necessary components of the final budget, differences still exist in those areas.

“We’re still working through those differences, we’re hoping to do so in a timely fashion because there are a number of other issues that need to come to the table before we can have a final budget agreement,” he told reporters.

Thursday, August 13, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Budget negotiations forge ahead with new proposals coming on pension reform, education funding

Budget negotiations forge ahead with new proposals coming on pension reform, education funding

Top legislative leaders from the four legislative caucuses met with Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday afternoon to discuss matters related to resolving Pennsylvania’s seven-week old budget stalemate and left the meeting to review new proposals offered by the administration dealing with pension reform and education funding.

The negotiators will meet again Thursday morning to discuss the new plans and see if they can find a way to forge ahead and agree to a spending plan.

“I think we made some progress,” Gov. Wolf said about the Wednesday meeting. “We’re going to get together at 10:00 tomorrow morning, we have some information [Budget Sec. Randy Albright] is going to be presenting to the leaders, both parties, so we can have a continuation of this tomorrow.”

While the governor stopped short of saying there was any sort of a breakthrough in negotiations, he remained optimistic saying again, “We made progress."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Calls mount for Attorney General Kathleen Kane to resign

Calls mount for Attorney General Kathleen Kane to resign

After Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman brought criminal charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane Thursday, calls for Kane to step down began to mount, even from within her own party.

"I am calling on her to step aside, step down as attorney general, because I think she cannot do what she has to do as the top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania while she’s facing these serious charges," Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday afternoon at a “Schools that Teach” tour event in East Stroudsburg.

Thursday, August 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf names Marcus Brown as Director of Homeland Security

Gov. Wolf names Marcus Brown as Director of Homeland Security

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday named Col. Marcus Brown as his Director of Homeland Security.

Col. Brown was once Gov. Wolf’s pick to lead the Pennsylvania State Police, but his nomination failed to be confirmed by the Senate in June.

Gov. Wolf names Col. Brown to the office that has been vacant since the end of the Corbett administration and is responsible for securing the Commonwealth against terrorist attacks and coordinating these efforts within agencies across state government and the federal government.

The director’s position is not subject to Senate confirmation.

According to the February 2012 executive order creating the office, "The Office of Homeland Security shall be managed by a Director, appointed by the Governor. The Director shall report to the Homeland Security Advisor and to the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety. The Director shall be assisted by personnel deemed necessary to allow the Office of Homeland Security to carry out its responsibilities."

Thursday, August 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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