S&P downgrades PA credit outlook as revenue deal continues to evade legislative leaders

S&P downgrades PA credit outlook as revenue deal continues to evade legislative leaders

Much like the death of Mark Twain, it appears rumors of legislative leaders being close to a deal on a revenue package to close out FY 2016-2017 and balance FY 2017-2018 are greatly exaggerated.

 

After another quiet day in the Capitol Thursday that saw some rank-and-file members begin to return to the Capitol in advance of Friday’s planned House session day, it appears as though lawmakers are still nowhere near a global agreement that will bring about $2.2 billion to balance the Commonwealth’s books.

Thursday, July 6, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Pittsburgh City Council moves to support statewide minimum wage hike

Pittsburgh City Council moves to support statewide minimum wage hike

While Harrisburg is still engaged in a state budget debate, Pittsburgh City Council has moved ahead with support of a measure introduced to raise Pennsylvania’s statewide minimum wage.

Councilman Dan Gilman (District 8) today introduced a Will of Council to support Pennsylvania House Bill 1520, introduced by Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin), aimed at incrementally increasing the state’s minimum wage until it reaches $15.00 an hour in 2024.

Thursday, July 6, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Council approves lead blood test mandate for children

Allegheny County Council approves lead blood test mandate for children

Allegheny County Council approved a resolution mandating blood lead level testing for children at approximately the ages of nine to 12 months old, with additional testing required again at 24 months of age. The resolution passed the council by a 15 to 2 vote, with Councilman Edward Kress (District 3) and Councilwoman Sue Means (District 5) voting against the measure.

The new ordinance would require children to have their blood lead level tests completed before enrolling in kindergarten at county schools. Schools would additionally be required to inform parents of the testing requirement prior to their children’s admission into the school.

Thursday, July 6, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Revenue discussions continue as lawmakers work to meet Monday deadline

Revenue discussions continue as lawmakers work to meet Monday deadline

With June 30th coming and going, so goes another month of revenues and the close of the FY 2016-2017 budget year; however, unlike previous months, June’s revenue did come in slightly over estimate.

 

According to figures reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the Commonwealth’s General Fund revenues for the month of June came in just more than $11 million over estimate. While major revenue generators like the personal income and sales and use tax were down, the corporate net income tax and inheritance tax outpaced estimates to put the Commonwealth in the black for the month of June.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Legislation to ban local taxes, regulation on plastic bags vetoed by Gov. Wolf

Legislation to ban local taxes, regulation on plastic bags vetoed by Gov. Wolf

Last Friday, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed House Bill 1071 on grounds of pre-emption and constitutionality according to statements released by his office.

House Bill 1071, prime sponsored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), prohibits counties and municipalities from imposing a ban, fee, surcharge or tax on recyclable plastic bags at point of sale. Rep. Farry created the legislation to promote the plastic bag workforce and encourage recycling programs related to the disposal of plastic bags.

This legislation has been discussed in the previous years and some municipalities—namely Philadelphia and Pittsburgh—have attempted or discussed placing a tax on plastic bags in the past. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017/Author: Kyle Maguire
Categories: News and Views
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