Gov. Wolf to seek consolidation of four state agencies

Gov. Wolf to seek consolidation of four state agencies

Continuing to seek government efficiencies and consolidation instead of broad-based tax increases to balance the coming fiscal year’s budget, Gov. Tom Wolf formally announced Monday the long-rumored consolidation of four state agencies into one Department of Health and Human Services.


According to the administration, the four agencies that will be consolidated are the Department of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Aging, and Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Monday, January 30, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
As budget bills advance, big questions still linger

As budget bills advance, big questions still linger

A ray of hope broke through the proverbial clouds of Pennsylvania’s budget impasse Monday as a budget bill from the five-party framework agreement headed to the governor with the passage of the Public Welfare—now Human Services—Code bill.

Another budget bill, the Administrative Code, was sent back to the Senate for them to review changes made by the House.

However, as bills continue to chug along, questions are still lingering for members about questions concerning how the budget is going to be paid for, how budget dollars are going to be distributed to public schools, and even some of the procedure behind how the process will move forward.

Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) was beside himself Monday morning as he emerged early from a closed-door House Republican caucus meeting, where he told a small gathering of reporters that leaders from his caucus are telling members that they’re going to have to accept the $30.8 billion spend number as part of the budget framework.

“We’re just going to accept a $1.2 billion tax increase,” he asked. “We’re not going to push back on it?”

Monday, December 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Progress continues to elude budget negotiators

Substantial progress toward an agreed-to budget continued to elude top budget negotiators after a 35 minute closed door meeting between Gov. Tom Wolf, House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) on Monday.

Tuesday marks the beginning of the fifth week of the Commonwealth’s ongoing budget stalemate.

Following Monday’s meeting, the Republican lawmakers said in order for real budget progress to take place, the governor needs to “roll up his sleeves” and negotiate with the full Republican leadership team.

“From a process perspective, Sen. Scarnati and myself made it clear to the governor that to be able to effectively negotiate he really needs to roll his sleeves up,” Rep. Turzai told a small group of reporters following the meeting.

“It cannot be staff level meetings, he has to roll his sleeves up, he has to have meetings with all Republican leaders at the table and be able to work diligently and you start it off with budgetary numbers.”

Monday, August 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

GOP House member unveils budget alternative

Standing alone Thursday, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) unveiled what he called a “middle of the road” budget alternative.

“I’ve been here a long time, I’ve been through a lot of these debates on the budget and I think it’s time we start to get serious about doing this,” he said at Thursday morning’s news conference unveiling his proposal. “It doesn’t appear to me that much progress is being made.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views


The Olmstead decision rendered by the US Supreme Court in 1999, which found holding an individual with disabilities in an institution without justification to be violative of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), presented a variety of implications for patients and care providers in Pennsylvania. On Monday, the House Human Services committee will hold a public hearing on the Olmstead ruling and its impact on care for the intellectually disabled in the commonwealth.

Read more.

Friday, March 28, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views