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
Wolf’s budget plan: comprehensive vs. competitive?

Wolf’s budget plan: comprehensive vs. competitive?

Budget Secretary Randy Albright took center stage in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee to put on a defense of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget in the first of the Senate’s budget hearings Monday.

Sec. Albright’s message—along with that of the entire Wolf administration—was clear: the budget must be looked at in a comprehensive manner and not piecemeal. He repeatedly argued that when taken as a comprehensive package, the budget and other component proposals will bring Pennsylvania back into fiscal health and help the Commonwealth be more competitive with neighboring states.

“This is a comprehensive budget plan,” Sec. Albright told Majority Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) in response to a line of questioning. “You can’t just address challenges that face Pennsylvania piecemeal, you just can’t address a structural budget challenge if we don’t address other deficits, other budget challenges, that we also face.”

Monday, March 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate pension reform plan coming soon

Senate pension reform plan coming soon

According to Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Majority Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the likely prime sponsor of a Senate pension reform bill, the Senate Republican’s pension reform plan is still being worked on and could see the light of day in April.

The caucus leadership has repeatedly said pension reform must be dealt with before any revenue increase considerations can be had.

“I want to have something our caucus will support before I put it in,” Sen. Browne told reporters Monday afternoon following a budget hearing with the Budget Office. “But, it’ll be very different from what the governor proposed.”

Monday, March 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal will be altered, House Approps chairs say

Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal will be altered, House Approps chairs say

Both chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee—Rep. Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) and Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny)—agreed Thursday that after the first week of budget hearings the governor’s proposed budget will definitely change.

“I’ve always said that the governor’s proposal…it’s just a blueprint and we work off of the governor’s blueprint,” Rep. Adolph told The PLS Reporter. “I always start with last year’s budget as the starting point.”

Rep. Markosek commented that there is always change after the budget hearing process is concluded.

“His budget is the size of a phonebook, so my guess is there’ll be some changes,” he said. “Besides the governor’s office, there’s four caucuses involved, so obviously everybody’s going to have their say.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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