As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

Thursday marked the end of the three-week House Appropriations Committee budget hearing process where committee members and other interested Representatives heard from nearly every facet of state government receiving funding in the coming fiscal year’s budget.

The PLS Reporter caught up with a few of the committee’s member to get their thoughts on the budget hearing process and what they think will happen with Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget going forward.

“Generally, it’s a lot of what we expected,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “Not a lot of answers on specifics, they kept it at ‘it’s a comprehensive plan,’ which kind of triggers ‘we want everything and we’re not willing to negotiate,’ which is very bad moving forward meaning it’s either this or nothing.”

In the end, he said, more questions remain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Could Senate pension reform bill have contract impairment issues?

Could Senate pension reform bill have contract impairment issues?

Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) was the featured speaker at March’s Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon and the centerpiece of his remarks fell on pension reform.

“It’s the issue, there is no other issue to discuss until we do public pensions,” he said. “We need to resolve that first so we can move forward.”

He even noted the budget’s passage will have to wait until pension reform is complete, even if that means waiting until the Fall which the governor has indicated he would open to working on pension reform.

“If that’s what he means, that’s what it means,” Sen. Corman said. 

Monday, March 23, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget would decrease access to justice

Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget would decrease access to justice

Calling the budget proposal for the Judicial branch “flat-lined,” Justice Michael Eakin said the currently proposed level funding of the Judicial branch in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal would put the court $30 million in the hole.

“If we do nothing, we can’t meet our budget because of increases beyond our control,” he said. “This year, specifically, the two major drivers that put us in trouble are the pension contribution increase requested of us at about $11 million and medical benefits, which best estimates are another $10 million.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Lawmaker, L&I secretary spar over effect of raising PA’s minimum wage

Lawmaker, L&I secretary spar over effect of raising PA’s minimum wage

Acting Secretary of Labor and Industry Kathy Manderino was in front of the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday for her department’s budget hearing.

Among a number of topics discussed by Sec. Manderino and committee members, a wide gap surrounding the likely effects of raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage between Republican members and the Democratic-secretary became apparent.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Adolph launches website to let taxpayers know how much they’ll pay under Wolf budget proposal

Adolph launches website to let taxpayers know how much they’ll pay under Wolf budget proposal

House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) Monday unveiled the website taxpayersthatpay.com to show taxpayers how much the administration’s proposed sales and personal income tax increases would affect them.

“Quite frankly, we had to calculate how much the tax increase would cost folks and try to break it down where they live,” he told The PLS Reporter Monday after the committee’s budget hearing with the Department of Education.

Monday, March 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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