House GOP members have “significant concerns” with budget framework revenue package

House GOP members have “significant concerns” with budget framework revenue package

House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) doubled down on their earlier statements that they’re leaving it to the Wolf administration to woe 102 members of the House to vote for a revenue plan to support the $30.788 billion spending plan as part of the on again, off again agreed-to budget framework.

“The governor, we all know, has to come up with the 102 tax votes if he wants this budget passed,” said Rep. Turzai in a brief press availability Wednesday evening following a closed-door Republican caucus on the revenue plan. “The hold out for all these days has been, really, what is the tax component and where are these tax votes and does he have enough in our chamber.”

He noted that the governor has “significant influence” in the Democratic caucus and “has the opportunity talk to any Republican he wants to” in his effort to gain a majority of votes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Budget impasse to enter its most critical 24-hour period

Budget impasse to enter its most critical 24-hour period

While nobody’s called Jack Bauer quite yet, Pennsylvania’s budget impasse is going to be entering its most critical 24-hour period as leaders from all four legislative caucuses and the governor will await the outcome of vote whipping and closed-door negotiations to see if majorities exist in both chambers to pass the tax revenue needed to support the $30.788 billion spending plan as part of the budget framework agreement announced before Thanksgiving.

Who will be doing the vote getting?

House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) said after a five-party meeting Wednesday that the effort will largely be left up to the Wolf administration.

“I think it’s very clear we’ve gone through this process for a number of months now, we’re down to a 24-hour time period where either the administration has the votes—102 in the House, 26 in the Senate—to pass a Tax Code bill,” he said. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

IFO compares monthly revenue figures to prior year

Along with Monday’s Department of Revenue announcement of revenue collections for October 2015, the Independent Fiscal Office used the numbers to compare collections to October 2014, but with mixed results.

According to the Department of Revenue, $2.1 billion in General Fund revenue was collected in October 2015, bringing total fiscal-year-to-date collections to $8.9 billion.

The Independent Fiscal Office noted that the total collection number is $110 million less than October 2014 with monthly tax revenues declining by $101 million and nontax revenues declining by $9 million.

However, according to the IFO, that’s not the end of the story.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf on budget impasse: “It’s not time for partisanship”

Gov. Wolf on budget impasse: “It’s not time for partisanship”

Gov. Tom Wolf spoke on a scheduled appearance during Pittsburgh’s KQV 1410 AM morning show Thursday saying, while he is awaiting a GOP proposal to break the budget stalemate, it’s time to put partisanship aside.

Likening the current budget struggle to that of a past bipartisan solution—transportation funding legislation passed in 2013—he called on both sides of the impasse to come together to solve issues both sides agree need to be addressed.

Among those, he pointed to the need to increase education funding, fix the structural deficit, and make Pennsylvania’s tax system fairer by reforming property taxes.

“It’s not time for partisanship,” he told morning show how PJ Maloney. “We really need to recognize the things we have in common—which is a good Pennsylvania—and come to some agreement on what we need to do to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Thursday, October 29, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
GOP budget discussions remain in a preliminary phase

GOP budget discussions remain in a preliminary phase

For the second time in two weeks the leadership team from both Republican caucuses in the General Assembly held a closed-door meeting to try to reach a meeting of the minds on a new budget proposal and for the second week in a row they have yet to come to a lock-step agreement on how to move forward with a fresh budget plan.

While he said the discussions are going “very good,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) also said the talks are still “very preliminary.”

“We certainly are continuing to look for solutions to solve the budget and the parameters we’re working in are none of the broad-based tax increases,” he said.

He added there has been no agreement between Republicans on what other revenue could be used to support a final budget product.

Monday, October 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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