State budget vehicle continues advance

State budget vehicle continues advance

With little fanfare Monday afternoon the vehicle for the eventual state General Fund budget continued its advance through the legislative process, receiving second consideration in the House without amendment.

 

The bill—House Bill 218—sets state spending at FY 2015-2016 spending levels with total state appropriations ringing in at just over $33 billion.

 

The $29.45 billion General Fund spend number is far below the $32.3 billion General Fund spend number proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf in his February 7 budget address.

Monday, March 20, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf announces increases in Medicaid expansion

Gov. Wolf announces increases in Medicaid expansion

Gov. Tom Wolf was joined by Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas, Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller, and Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks)  to announce that the medicaid expansion has reached 700,000 Pennsylvanians.

Thursday, February 2, 2017/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
Latest budget deadline passes with little fanfare, leaves many questions

Latest budget deadline passes with little fanfare, leaves many questions

The deadline set by House Republican leaders for 12:30 p.m. on Thursday for Gov. Tom Wolf to prove to them he has the votes to get the revenue for the $30.788 billion budget agreed-to as part of the five-party budget framework came and went without much fanfare, but many House members were left with questions about what the final revenue package would entail.

Despite the stern message sent by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) Wednesday night that if the governor did not come up with the votes the legislature would move forward with some sort of a stopgap budget, the Wolf administration Thursday morning said they were not fazed.

“It’s not something we’re taking seriously,” said Wolf administration spokesperson Jeff Sheridan of what he called an “artificial” deadline.

Reached later in the day, Sheridan said the governor had not met with House Republican leaders as of late afternoon Thursday and he is still meeting with rank-and-file members.

Thursday, December 17, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House to Senate: Show me the money

House to Senate: Show me the money

With the House in a rare Sunday evening voting session, budget bills slowly started making their way through that chamber as legislators are hopeful of getting a budget done by week’s end.

However, one question is still nagging members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives: Where will the revenue come from to support the budget plan?

When noting the Senate has said it has done its job in sending budget bills over to the House before recessing and going on six-hour call last week, members of both parties of the House asked where the money is to support the $30.8 billion spending plan currently in their chamber.

“We have two tax code bills sitting over in the Senate, so if they were serious about sending everything over they would have loaded the taxes to pay for their funding and send it over,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “The fact that the two House tax code bills are still sitting in Senate Finance Committee, I would have to say you’ve got to pay for what you spend.”

Sunday, December 13, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Revised revenue plan still a tough decision for moderate Republicans

As the details of Gov. Tom Wolf’s revised revenue plan were made public Tuesday, Republicans—even some moderates who could potentially be in favor of some broad-based revenue increases—were still skeptical.

The new revenue plan, which is embodied in an amendment sponsored by House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) to House Bill 283, proposes to raise $3.6 billion over the next two fiscal years by relying heavily on increasing the personal income tax to 3.57 percent and placing a 3.5 percent tax on natural gas extraction.

The proposal would also increase the property tax forgiveness provision costing $195 million over two years while also making a transfer of $5 million to the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program in FY 2016-2017.

According to House Democrats and the Wolf administration, the expanded Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program will provide $400 million in new property tax relief to seniors, the disabled, and veterans beginning in FY 2017-2018, resulting in the elimination of property taxes for 331,317 households, including over 247,000 new eliminations.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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