Gov. Wolf proposed $29.9 billion budget includes $4.6 billion in new revenue sources

Gov. Wolf proposed $29.9 billion budget includes $4.6 billion in new revenue sources

Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday unveiled his first budget proposal which totals out at $29.9 billion in state funding and is balanced using $4.2 billion in new revenue sources.

The governor said his spending plan is “a different kind of budget.”

"It is a budget that reflects my conversations with many of you here today. It includes Democratic ideas, Republican ideas, and ideas that exist beyond party lines. It is rooted in the values of fairness, inclusion, and common sense. It is a balanced budget, and it eliminates our $2.3 billion deficit,” he told a joint session of the General Assembly.

“But above all, it is also a budget that recognizes that Pennsylvania will not improve until we rebuild the middle class.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Democrats swoon over Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget

Democrats swoon over Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget

Both House and Senate Democratic leaders praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s $29.9 billion proposed budget Tuesday, citing innovation in property tax relief, education spending increases, and raising the minimum wage.

“Today begins a new day,” said Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). “We have a new and we have a fresh start on how we are going to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Much like the governor, Sen. Costa said the Commonwealth is facing more than just a structural deficit, but a deficit in education spending and job creation, both of which he said will be reversed under Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget.

“We’ve failed to invest over the course of the last several years, and we are paying the price for it,” he added.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Amid process concerns, a bill limiting state spending growth moves to House floor

Amid process concerns, a bill limiting state spending growth moves to House floor

Democrats on the House State Government Committee cried foul Monday afternoon as the committee unexpectedly was called to meet to vote on House Bill 472.

The legislation—a constitutional amendment introduced in the House by Rep. Tim Krieger (R-Westmoreland)—would limit the growth in state spending to a formula based on the sum of the increase in the rate of inflation and the increase in Pennsylvania’s population.

There are exceptions for emergency spending, the funding of pension obligations, and the need for additional funding, all of which require three-quarters approval from the legislature.

The PLS Reporter reported on the legislation in a story last week.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Lawmakers seek to protect small businesses from potential PIT increase

Lawmakers seek to protect small businesses from potential PIT increase

Republican members from both chambers Monday announced the introduction of the Small Business Tax Fairness package, legislation they say will help bring consistency and fairness to small businesses that pay the personal income tax.

The bills include House Bill 700—introduced by Rep. Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland)—which would allow for tax deferrals off of income made from like-kind exchanges; House Bill 701—introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York)—which would allow small businesses paying personal income tax to use net operating losses to set off profits; and House Bill 702—introduced by Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland)—which would increase the section 179 threshold deduction to $100,000.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Legislators seek to change laws protecting pedophiles

Legislators seek to change laws protecting pedophiles

Seeking to end what they call state-sanctioned protection for perpetrators of child sexual abuse, a group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s civil and criminal statute of limitations on when victims can bring such claims forward.

“[Statute of limitations] reform is what will level the playing field for victims of sexual abuse,” said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), who has introduced House Bill 661, which extends the civil statute of limitations from 30 to 50 years for adult victims of child sexual abuse to bring a claim against their perpetrator.

Monday, March 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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