Rotunda Ramblings - Episode 24

In this episode of the podcast, we talk to Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) about property tax reform/elimination, his efforts in that regard, where things stand, and where things are going.

Friday, September 23, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: Rotunda Ramblings
2016 priorities: Senate Republican caucus

2016 priorities: Senate Republican caucus

Continuing our vignettes on 2016 legislative priorities, this feature spotlights Senate Republicans, a caucus looking at 2016 as a way to get many of their 2015 priorities across the finish line while trying to find governmental efficiencies and opportunities to create jobs in Pennsylvania.

“Many of the priorities that were priorities at the beginning of 2015 continue to be at the top of the list,” said caucus spokesperson Jenn Kocher.

At the top of that list is public pension reform legislation.

Thursday, January 14, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Holiday news you may have missed

Checking-in for the first time since Christmas? Well, lots happened that you may have missed and we’d like to get you back up to speed.

While you might have known that just before Christmas, the General Assembly delivered a $30.2 billion budget to the governor’s desk without his agreement, you might have missed the governor’s line-item veto of that measure on December 29th.

In sum, Gov. Tom Wolf’s use of his veto blue-lining pen allowed about $23 billion to get out to state government, local government, and public schools.

Despite his actions, Gov. Wolf was not thrilled about the budget that landed on his desk.

“I am expressing the outrage that all of us Pennsylvanians should feel about the garbage Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us,” he said. “This budget is wrong for Pennsylvania and our legislators—the folks we elected to serve us need to own up to this—they need to do their jobs.”

Monday, January 4, 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

School district property tax elimination measure fails in Senate

Hopes of passing what sponsors believed would be a measure to put a stake in the heart of Pennsylvania’s school district property taxes were dashed Monday night, as their proposal failed along the narrow margin of 24 to 24, with Lt. Gov. Mike Stack voting in the negative to break the tie.

The proposal was voted on as an amendment to House Bill 683.

Prime sponsor of the measure, Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) said the school district property tax system in effect today is the “same, stupid, unfair” tax that has existed since 1834.

“Again and again we have tried, but we have not succeeded [in eliminating the tax],” he said. “Today is the day and it’s long overdue.”

Monday, November 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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