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
Papal visit, DNC convention has PennDOT considering expediting Philadelphia projects

Papal visit, DNC convention has PennDOT considering expediting Philadelphia projects

In the next two calendar years, the Philadelphia region is expected to play host to two major national events: a visit by Pope Francis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Combined, the two events have been estimated at bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity—and millions of people—to the Philadelphia area and the Commonwealth as a whole.

The sudden influx of people presents unique transportation concerns and Acting Transportation Sec. Leslie Richards said her department is considering expediting some projects for the Philadelphia area so as to ensure smooth transportation through the region.

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
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