Legislative leaders spin House-passed budget

The House of Representatives Saturday afternoon passed a GOP crafted $30.1 billion budget plan that does not include any of the three main priorities of Gov. Tom Wolf.

The House passed FY 2015-2016 spending plan worked its way through the chamber by a 112-77 vote with two Republicans, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) and Rep. John McGinnis (R-Blair), joining Democrats in opposing the plan.

Following the vote, leaders from both parties visited with reporters to discuss the spending plan.

“I think the key components to this budget are that it’s balanced with no new taxes going forward into the next fiscal year; we not only meet our current obligations as far as funding core functions of government, but we also include over $200 million worth of new spending related to education items in the budget,” said House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana).

Saturday, June 27, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Sen. Wagner: “Tom Wolf is trying to play the CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation”

Sen. Wagner: “Tom Wolf is trying to play the CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation”

Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) sounded off on a number of issues at Monday’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon including his views on public pension reform, liquor privatization, education funding, and special interests.

Sen. Wagner also had some very pointed remarks about Gov. Tom Wolf, a fellow York County businessman whom he has known for a number of years.

Asked if Gov. Wolf is governing as he would expect, Sen. Wagner said he is not.

“Tom Wolf is a nice guy. Tom Wolf I believe is trying to play CEO of the Pennsylvania Corporation,” he said. “It’s almost like: ‘If you need me come get me.’”

Monday, June 22, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Conditions already placed on use of fairer education funding formula?

Conditions already placed on use of fairer education funding formula?

Bipartisanship and cheer abounded at the Capitol Thursday for those taking part in the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission, which included representatives from all four legislative caucuses and the governor’s office, when they unanimously released their long-anticipated funding formula recommendations and other education funding suggestions.

The commission’s recommended funding formula was described as taking into account both student-based and district-based factors that are aimed at providing funding that is truly representative of a district’s needs and unique situation.

However, while many are anticipating swift action on legislative implementation of the commission’s recommendations, some are already putting preconditions on when it would be best to implement the new funding formula.

“There are certainly a group of struggling school districts it would take a number of years back to a basic, functional school district and that—in our view—is not an acceptable funding decision with new resources for the 15-16 fiscal year,” said Budget Secretary Randy Albright, a member of the commission.

Thursday, June 18, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
PlanCON reform urged by public school officials

PlanCON reform urged by public school officials

Groups and officials representing Pennsylvania public school interests called on lawmakers and the governor to support legislation that would significantly reform PlanCON, the process by which school districts are reimbursed for construction projects.

“[PlanCON] consists of eleven laborious, paperwork intensive, bureaucratic, archaic, and out-of-date paperwork submissions,” said Jay Himes of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. “Taken altogether, it is simply a train wreck when it comes to the state budget and its ability to fund the commitment the Commonwealth should have made for schools to get reimbursed.”

He said the current PlanCON process and the lack of funding resulting in less-than-expected reimbursements for construction projects has led to cuts in programs and personnel as well as increases to property taxes.

Speakers noted many of PlanCON’s provisions—which have their origin in the 1970s—still remain in effect today.

Monday, June 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Costa shows support for Shale tax to fund education

VIDEO: Costa shows support for Shale tax to fund education

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa was joined by democratic leaders and other democratic lawmakers to highlight and push legislation that would create a new $1 billion natural gas extraction tax for education in Pennsylvania. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
RSS
First9101112131415161718