Budget impasse spending transparency called into question by GOP lawmakers

Budget impasse spending transparency called into question by GOP lawmakers

A group of Republican lawmakers from the House and the Senate sounded the alarm Thursday on what they believe is a lack of transparency in how money is being spent by the Wolf administration during the protracted state budget impasse.

Including federal dollars, Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) said the Wolf administration has spent $30.4 billion in the period between July 1 and October 31.

A report authored by Rep. Grove and Representatives Chris Dush (R-Jefferson) and Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) was released with recommendations about how to bring more transparency to the way dollars are spent and calling on the auditor general to take a look at the issue.

“What we discovered in this report is the administration used prior year funds without any oversight from the legislature or transparency to the public to fund Harrisburg first,” Rep. Grove said.

Thursday, December 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf: “I think the sales tax really needs to be brought up to date”

Gov. Wolf: “I think the sales tax really needs to be brought up to date”

Gov. Tom Wolf commented on the progress of the state budget during an interview on KDKA 1020AM Thursday morning and he reasserted prior comments that a final budget product is close to the finish line.

“We’re almost there,” he said. “There’s some things to work out…so we’re continuing to work through that last ten percent, but I think all of us really want to get this done.”

While—like all those leading the budget discussions—was short on detail, the governor did say that the budget will include historic things like the largest increase in education funding.

The governor also discussed the oft-bandied-about issue of eliminating some sales tax exemptions, saying “I think the sales tax really needs to be brought up to date.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Budget framework’s lack of detail leaves more questions than answers

Budget framework’s lack of detail leaves more questions than answers

It is likely to be into the middle of next week before a final budget is finally wrapped up, House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) told The PLS Reporter Wednesday.

“I believe it’s a six day process,” he said of what it takes to get a budget done. “If today was the first day, you would probably have to add at least five more days to the finish line.”

He said Wednesday could be the first day, “but we’re not sure.”

When asked if it would at least take until early or mid-week next week to get a budget done, Rep. Adolph responded, “absolutely.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Gov. Wolf: "We need a budget soon"

VIDEO: Gov. Wolf: "We need a budget soon"

After a Wednesday afternoon press release, Gov. Wolf answered reporter's questions about the budget impasse, federal dollars going to domestic violence shelters, education, and Attorney General Kane hiring special prosecutors. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Capitol Quick Hits for 12.2.15

Capitol Quick Hits for 12.2.15

Here are the highlights from news conferences, rallies, and advocacy days held in the Capitol today: 

  • The Wolf Administration announced that the Pennsylvania Capitol Police are now trained to administer and will carry the life-saving opioid overdose reversal antidote known as naloxone. 

  • The Zonta Club of Harrisburg-Hershey held a rally in the East Wing Rotunda to Say No to Violence Against Women. This was part of their campaign to raise awareness and increase actions to end violence against women and girls in Pennsylvania local communities and around the world. The club is a member of Zonta International. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: VideoEvent Central
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