Hope fading for a Thanksgiving budget?

As the budget framework Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders announced last week continues to take shape, some involved with crafting a plan to end Pennsylvania’s nearly five-month long budget stalemate were lowering expectations Monday that the impasse could be finally broken by Thanksgiving as first hoped.

“I’m hoping we can do it sooner [than December], I was hoping before Thanksgiving,” Gov. Wolf said to PJ Maloney on KQV radio Monday morning.

However, the governor later said that projections made earlier by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) of a December budget might be “more realistic.”

“We want to do it soon, quickly,” he said.

Monday, November 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
PSBA expresses frustration with budget stalemate

PSBA expresses frustration with budget stalemate

Nathan Mains, Executive Director of The Pennsylvania School Boards Association answered questions about the budget stalemate after a briefing in the House majority caucus room. 

Monday, November 16, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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New liquor privatization bill introduced

New liquor privatization bill introduced

A new bill to privatize wine and spirits sales in Pennsylvania was introduced Thursday by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny).

The bill—House Bill 1690—is scheduled to be voted on in the House Liquor Control Committee Monday at 11:00 a.m.

According to a cosponsorship memo attached to the legislation, the plan will divest the Commonwealth of all of its wine and spirits stores.

“In order to divest the retail system, the legislation provides for the closing of all the state stores,” the memo reads. “It provides a safeguard to ensure that the citizens of Pennsylvania will receive the same or better service they are currently experiencing before a state store is closed.”

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

Property tax elimination vote coming despite budget framework?

The sponsor of a Senate bill to completely eliminate Pennsylvania’s school property tax says he will be offering an amendment next week that encompasses his proposal despite the governor and legislative leaders working on another proposal.

Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) told The PLS Reporter Thursday that he plans to bring up the complete elimination plan next Tuesday as an amendment to a bill being considered on the Senate floor.

“I believe we have the votes,” he said. “We have 24 cosponsors, [and] I have other members who have told me they will vote for this even though they are not cosponsors, but there’s only one way to find out, so we’re going to read the roll call on Tuesday.”

He said despite the governor and legislative leaders from all four caucuses unveiling a budget framework earlier this week that focuses on reducing or eliminating property taxes for homeowners and farmers by raising the sales tax 1.25 percent across the commonwealth, the vote Tuesday could not be more real.

“I believe that when this clears the Senate for the first time in history, that changes everything,” he said. “That certainly changes the dynamic in the House.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
VIDEO: Sec. Richards gives PennDOT update

VIDEO: Sec. Richards gives PennDOT update

In a media availability, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards outlines the progress of the department from the past 10 months and it's future goals of a extreme weather vulnerability study and improving Pennsylvania's roadways. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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