With lessons learned, bipartisan group of legislators hopes for VGT bill success

With lessons learned, bipartisan group of legislators hopes for VGT bill success

A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators Monday introduced legislation that would legalize and tax the operation of video gaming terminals (VGTs) in Pennsylvania.

 

Under the legislation, VGTs—which host slot-machine-like games—would be allowed to be played in and hosted by establishments that possess a valid Pennsylvania liquor license as well as truck stops and off track betting sites. Current estimates place the number of potentially eligible entities at around 12,000.

Monday, March 27, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
State budget vehicle continues advance

State budget vehicle continues advance

With little fanfare Monday afternoon the vehicle for the eventual state General Fund budget continued its advance through the legislative process, receiving second consideration in the House without amendment.

 

The bill—House Bill 218—sets state spending at FY 2015-2016 spending levels with total state appropriations ringing in at just over $33 billion.

 

The $29.45 billion General Fund spend number is far below the $32.3 billion General Fund spend number proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf in his February 7 budget address.

Monday, March 20, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House Appropriations Committee approves budget vehicle

House Appropriations Committee approves budget vehicle

The House Appropriations Committee Monday took the first in what is sure to be a series of long legislative steps to approving a FY 2017-2018 budget by unanimously approving and advancing vehicle legislation to the full House.

Monday, March 13, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

Senators skeptical over proposed human services agency consolidation

In a situation unique to recent budget hearing history, four departments up for potential consolidation appeared jointly before the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the proposed merger and various agency operations.

 

Normally appearing separately—as they did in the House—the agencies discussed the merits of the proposed consolidation and worked to assuage the fears of senators skeptical of the alleged benefits of the merger.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House Republicans set out to the high SEAS for budget savings

House Republicans set out to the high SEAS for budget savings

As the three-week stretch of budget hearings is starting to wind down, House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled an initiative that will allow them to hear from state employees instead of the agency heads that have been appearing before the appropriations committees since the end of February.

 

Dubbed “SEAS” for State Employees Achieving Savings, a cadre of House Republicans led by Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) announced the creation of a web portal that will allow state employees to directly contact the House Appropriations Committee with cost-savings ideas they have developed while operating on the front lines of state government.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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