House budget bill takes shape

The House Republican Caucus successfully amended the placeholder budget bill Tuesday afternoon and House Bill 2328 was voted out of committee as an actual $29.1 billion spending plan.

“This is a balanced proposal which helps move Pennsylvania forward,” said Majority Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware). “This is not the end of the discussions and I’m sure the Senate will make some changes to this plan.”

Chairman Adolph explained that the spend number is $536 million—or 1.9 percent—more than the last fiscal year and assumes 3.2 percent of growth for FY 2014-2015, which he said is consistent with Independent Fiscal Office Estimates.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

All attention on pension reform as liquor continues to stall

With the movement of a pension reform proposal being critical to the approval of a state budget by Gov. Tom Corbett, all legislative momentum Monday turned toward passing a reform plan.

Noting that liquor privatization or reform still lacks the necessary 26 votes in the Senate, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre) confirmed to The PLS Reporter that the focus of his caucus is working toward getting pension reform done.

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Monday, June 23, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Omnibus budget amendment expected Tuesday

As budget amendments were considered Monday on the House floor, an omnibus budget amendment that will be the starting point for a final spending plan will be offered in the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday.

“Sometime, hopefully [Tuesday], there will be an omnibus amendment offered and the vehicle will be voted out of the Appropriations Committee and moved on to the floor as the Speaker sees fit,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware).

As to how the amendment achieves its required balanced status, Chairman Adolph simply said “stay tuned,” noting the process to bring the amendment to fruition has taken a month-and-a-half.

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Monday, June 23, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Experts: Content not timing of budget matters in the fall

The ability of Gov. Tom Corbett to provide additional spending to key areas like education, human services, and senior programs will have greater election implications for the governor than whether the budget is one time, political experts say.

“The voters of the state do not care about budget deadlines,” said Dr. Terry Madonna, a political analyst from Franklin and Marshall University in Lancaster. “They only care if services get cut.”

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Friday, June 20, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Your third week of June budget recap

The third week of June ended much like the second week of June, with no movement of an actual FY 2014-2015 state spending plan.

However, the House is planning on considering budget amendments on Monday with a possible comprehensive budget amendment to come later in the week.

“We are moving to move the bill to the floor on Monday for second [consideration] and then back into the committee. I have full intention of amending that vehicle for a floor vote,” said Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

While it is not known at the current time whether the comprehensive spending plan will be offered during Monday’s floor session, the budget clock is ticking toward the June 30 budget deadline.

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Friday, June 20, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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