GOP-sponsored severance tax bills vetted by committee without clear end game

GOP-sponsored severance tax bills vetted by committee without clear end game

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an informational meeting Monday to learn more about two proposals to tax natural gas extracts sponsored by Republican House members.

The bills are House Bill 82 introduced by Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) and House Bill 1536 introduced by Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks).

Monday, February 8, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Legality of budget impasse spending approvals put in legislative crosshairs

Legality of budget impasse spending approvals put in legislative crosshairs

Two Senate committees—Appropriations and Finance—held a joint hearing Monday to determine the legality of payments being made by the Treasury Department under the auspices of “public health, safety, and welfare” that are above budgeted amounts.

“In the past, when the General Assembly has not been able to approve a fiscal year spending plan along with the governor by the end of the fiscal year, payments of these costs are normally understood to be made under the platform of health and safety,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh). “A question has arisen: is it appropriate and legal for payments to be made when a fiscal year appropriation act has been approved and payments are made in excess of that appropriation in that same fiscal cycle.”

Monday, February 8, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
GAVELED OUT: Pennsylvania’s X-Files

GAVELED OUT: Pennsylvania’s X-Files

GAVELED OUT is a semi-regular column from The PLS Reporter

Much ado has been made over the past week concerning a January Franklin and Marshall College poll that showed 67 percent of Pennsylvania voters believe the state is on the wrong track, a number up five percent from the last poll done on the issue back in October.

The poll also found that more a third of voters believe government and politicians are the biggest problem facing the state, and 82 percent believe that government needs to be “reformed.”

So, what does that have to do with The X-Files?

Friday, February 5, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: Features
VIDEO: Gov. Wolf talks new efficiency measures, success of GO-TIME in its first year

VIDEO: Gov. Wolf talks new efficiency measures, success of GO-TIME in its first year

In a Friday morning press conference, Governor Wolf announced new efficiency measures that will be apart of his 2016-17 budget address, and the success of the Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).

Friday, February 5, 2016/Author: Alanna Koll
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Auditor General offers to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions

Auditor General offers to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions

In a response to an open letter from Public Employee Retirement Commission executive director James McAneny Thursday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said his department would willing to take over PERC’s municipal pension-related functions should the commission no longer be able to operate.

Since the December 2015 line-item veto of a Republican-crafted budget proposal, PERC has been without an operating budget and the commission was notified this week that its functions would be terminated and its employees would lose their jobs with the commission.

Thursday, February 4, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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