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

Mixed PA reaction follows release of EPA Clean Power Plan

Monday, the US Environment Protection Agency released its long anticipated Clean Power Plan designed to reduce 2005 carbon emission levels 32 percent by 2030 with progress toward that goal seen by 2022.

The amount of the reduction in the final plan was lower than the proposed plan as submitted for public comment last year.

Following the release of the plan Monday, Pennsylvania environmental, energy, and business groups provided a mixed reaction to the news.

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

Gov. Wolf nominates new State Police Commissioner

Just two months shy of when the Senate declined to confirm Gov. Tom Wolf’s first pick to helm the Pennsylvania State Police—Col. Marcus Brown—Gov. Wolf announced his new pick to be the State Police leader: Maj. Tyree Blocker.

According to a release from Gov. Wolf’s office on the nomination, Maj. Blocker has 30 years of experience with the Pennsylvania State Police and worked his way up from being a trooper to the rank of Major during his career.

During his time with the Pennsylvania State Police, Maj. Blocker held roles working in patrol, criminal investigation, staff services and organized crime units. When he retired in 2005, he was supervising investigative, patrol and administrative operations of three Troops, comprised of 13 locations and 750 Troopers in ten counties including Philadelphia.

After his stint with the Pennsylvania State Police, Maj. Blocker worked with George Mason University as a security adviser to Trinidad and Tobago, then later serving as Minister of National Security for that country.

Monday, August 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Municipal pension reform work continues amid budget stalemate

Municipal pension reform work continues amid budget stalemate

Legislators sponsoring bills to reform municipal pensions are continuing their work to get to compromise legislation while others are focused on resolving the Commonwealth’s budget stalemate, which is now a month old.

While Senate Bill 755 and House Bill 316 moved out of their respective standing oversight committees earlier this summer, the bills received little attention neither in the immediate run-up and aftermath of the June 30th budget deadline nor in the subsequent session days in July.

According to Rep. Keith Grenier (R-Lancaster) and Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair)—sponsors of the aforementioned legislation—the two have been meeting to prepare amendments to the legislation they’ve offered that are largely in line with a task force report on the issue delivered by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale to Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year.

“There’s still quite a bit of action behind the scenes with this [and] we’ve actually been sitting down with some of the key parties,” said Rep. Greiner. “I think the key, kind of what we’re really looking at and focusing at, is Auditor General DePasquale’s task force report on municipal pensions.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Budget veto override still a possibility, Speaker Turzai says

Budget veto override still a possibility, Speaker Turzai says

Speaking to the Pennsylvania Press Club Monday, House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said the General Assembly may try to push an override of Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget-bill veto.

“[Our goal] is to actually get the governor to recognize that he does not have the votes for what he has put on the table and he does not have the support of the citizens of Pennsylvania for what he has put on the table and he has not backed off of it at all,” he said. “We have to look at overriding if we aren’t going to have a substantive discussion.”

He said the House voted down the governor’s tax package 193-0.

“You don’t get to negotiate from a figure that has almost zero support,” he said. “That’s not how negotiations work.”

Monday, July 27, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
RSS
First104105106107108109110111112113Last