As revenue projections hold, IFO sees continued weakness in sales tax growth

As revenue projections hold, IFO sees continued weakness in sales tax growth

Appearing before the House State Government Committee Wednesday to brief members on their current and legislatively proposed job functions, the Independent Fiscal Office reported that while their current year revenue projections are holding firm, there is continued weakness in sales tax growth that is ultimately adding to undermined General Fund revenue collections.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Advocates hold rally to call for new revenue sources, fair budget

Advocates hold rally to call for new revenue sources, fair budget

As the Pennsylvania budget is due within the next several days, a group of advocates filled the main Capitol rotunda to call for a budget that is fair and creates new revenue sources for education, human services, and environmental protection.

The advocates are part of Pennsylvania’s Choice, a coalition that includes—among others—the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Keystone Progress, and Public Interest Law Center.

Currently, the legislature has proposed using cuts to state programs like the DEP and revenue sources like gambling and tobacco to try and close the deficit the Commonwealth is facing. 

Monday, June 26, 2017/Author: Kyle Maguire
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Rep. McCarter discusses changing the way charter schools are funded

VIDEO: Rep. McCarter discusses changing the way charter schools are funded

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Rep. McCarter (D-Montgomery) and Rep. Sturla (D-Lancaster) discussed the need for a fair, reasonable and accountable cyber charter school reimbursement plan.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
As REAL ID compliance effort advances in House, federalism issues come to light

As REAL ID compliance effort advances in House, federalism issues come to light

The House State Government Committee Monday moved along a Senate measure that would put Pennsylvania on the road toward compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, which requires states to adopt specific, nationwide standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards in order to strengthen immigration enforcement and boost homeland security.

 

The debate, however, wrought out some Republican members’ strong belief in protecting Pennsylvania and its residents from federal encroachment and limiting the power of the governor to charge citizens for a federally mandated identification card.

Monday, May 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Charter school reform effort gets restarted in House

Charter school reform effort gets restarted in House

For the last several sessions, lawmakers in Pennsylvania have tried—but failed—to enact comprehensive reforms to the commonwealth’s charter school system.

 

Tuesday, that Sisyphean effort was restarted with the House Education Committee approving House Bill 97, vehicle legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland) that he said was akin to legislation that nearly got across the finish line last session in the form of House Bill 530.

 

According to Rep. Reese—the House member whose name has been attached to charter school reform the last two legislative sessions—the bill is aimed at leveling the playing field between charter schools (both brick and mortar and cyber) and traditional public schools.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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