House GOP veto override attempts fall short

A move by the House Republican Caucus to attempt to override certain line-items of Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a GOP-crafted, June-passed budget plan fell short Tuesday.

The caucus brought up line items related to funding rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, school food service, and other education, social service and human services line items.

While debates on the merits boiled down to Republicans urging support for the override votes to help get money to centers that are struggling to make ends meet during the budget impasse, Democrats argued the override attempts were unconstitutional and offers of necessary help were just a ploy.

“We will fight for additional funding for rape crisis centers to make sure they have adequate funding to do their job,” said House Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) during the floor debate Tuesday. “We will not support an override of a veto…this is nothing but a scam and you know it. It’s a stunt and it’s about time you get called on it."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House takes procedural step with eye toward a budget agreement

House takes procedural step with eye toward a budget agreement

The House Appropriations Committee took a step Wednesday to put a budget vehicle into place for the eventuality of an agreed-to budget plan between Republicans and Gov. Tom Wolf.

House Bill 1460 cleared the committee along a party-line vote and contains the exact same language as the budget bill passed by the General Assembly and vetoed by Gov. Wolf just over three weeks ago.

While an agreement still seems to be a ways off, committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) said the move was necessary as part of House rules in order to make sure an agreed-to product can be considered in a timely manner.

“House rules require the posting of a General Appropriations bill for second consideration, it takes about two weeks in advance of when this bill will actually be voted on the floor,” he told committee members. “We are voting House Bill 1460 today so we can get it a first reading and get it in position for second consideration whenever we’re able to reach a negotiated agreement with the administration."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

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
Democrats decry Republican agreed-to budget prospects

Democrats decry Republican agreed-to budget prospects

House and Senate Democrats Thursday responded to reports of an agreed-to budget among the Republican caucuses that is likely to take more detailed shape over the next several days.

Legislative Democratic leaders held a closed-door discussion with Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday to detail strategy and plan for the coming days.

House Appropriations Committee Minority Chairman Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) couched the coming budget proposal as “more of the same.”

“They’re really not serious about talking,” he said. “The governor and Democrats have been at the table and offered some things to them that have been pretty much ignored and they just want to do what they’ve done for the last four years and kind of go on their merry way with all their really non-budget, gimmick-filled budgets, missed opportunity budgets.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Republicans claim agreement reached on structural deficit; administration says conversations are ongoing

Republicans claim agreement reached on structural deficit; administration says conversations are ongoing

Republicans in the legislature are claiming a major breakthrough in the steps toward a budget agreement: agreement between them and the Wolf administration on a deficit number.

According to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware), the agreement reached with the governor late last week puts the current structural deficit at $1.2 billion.

“The meeting took place maybe last Tuesday or Wednesday and the meeting was with the four chairmen of the Appropriations Committee and the four executive directors as well as the Budget Secretary as well as the governor himself,” Rep. Adolph told The PLS Reporter.

“After about an hour and a half discussion, there has been agreement that the starting point for this year is somewhere around $300 million and the structural deficit that we are working with is somewhere at $1.2 billion.”

Monday, June 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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