Legislators seek to restore rural-area funding vetoed by Gov. Wolf

Legislators seek to restore rural-area funding vetoed by Gov. Wolf

As the effects of Pennsylvania’s budget impasse continue to be felt, legislators representing rural Pennsylvania are starting to introduce legislation to restore lines of funding vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf that were part of the $30.2 billion budget sent to him in December.

Monday, February 1, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf talks education funding, school choice

Gov. Wolf talks education funding, school choice

Gov. Tom Wolf took a scheduled appearance on 1410AM KQV radio Tuesday morning to address issues concerning education funding and school choice options.

Speaking first to education funding, Gov. Wolf said the so-called framework budget encapsulated in Senate Bill 1073 provided for an investment in education “I thought we had all agreed on.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Reed: “That original framework has come and gone”

Reed: “That original framework has come and gone”

Providing more insight as to where House Republicans stand in terms of the budget after Gov. Tom Wolf announced his line-item vetoes Tuesday morning, House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) reiterated his caucus’s position that if all of the broader policy considerations part of the five-party budget framework cannot be agreed to, then a pared down budget is what is necessary to get Pennsylvania through the current fiscal year.

“Two months ago now, we announced the framework of an agreement that included property tax reform, pension reform, liquor privatization, a balanced budget, and more money for education. The only thing left of that framework is higher taxes for more spending, everything else has fallen by the wayside for various reasons,” he said.

“The Senate wasn’t that thrilled about doing full privatization, the governor and House Democrats weren’t on board for pension reform, there were difficulties in finding a funding formula for property tax reductions and in the end, we as House Republicans, are just not accepting of increasing the sales tax or increasing the income tax for more spending.”

He added with all of that coming to a head last week, “it’s not a shot in the dark to say that original framework has come and gone.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Speaker Turzai on budget: “There are open issues in each and every area”

Speaker Turzai on budget: “There are open issues in each and every area”

Following a Friday morning call by a number of House Democrats for House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) to bring their chamber back to session to complete the budget and related bills, Speaker Turzai this afternoon announced the cancellation of Saturday’s scheduled session.

The House is set to reconvene Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. to begin caucusing—and perhaps holding committee votes—on those bills.

In updating the schedule, the Speaker also provided some insight on the differences that remain between House Republicans and those who are still working toward the once agreed-to budget framework that continues to list between success and failure in continually uncertain waters.

“There are open issues in each and every area,” he said pointing to a number of papers worked up by House Republicans on issues with the budget, related code bills, and pension and liquor reform bills. 

Friday, December 11, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House Education Chair: 95 percent of school districts able to stay open until October

House Education Chair: 95 percent of school districts able to stay open until October

As Pennsylvania’s state budget impasse continues to drag on into the start of the school year and districts begin to plan for contingencies in case the stalemate continues, House Education Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York) said Monday that around 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s school districts will likely to survive until October without state funding.

“Statewide I have not seen a school district that can’t open [on time],” he told a small group of reporters following Monday’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon featuring Education Sec. Pedro Rivera. “I think the school districts as a whole, the majority—I mean great majority—I’m going to say 95 percent of them probably can survive into October without taking a loan, possibly.”

He added those that are more financially distressed might have to go out for a line of credit a little sooner.

Currently, he noted school districts have already started to collect property taxes and other sources of their own revenue.

Monday, August 24, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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