In Reflection with Senator Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)

In Reflection with Senator Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster)

In this special PLS Reporter series, In Reflection, former Senator Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) shares a philosophy he calls “Strategic Policy Collaboration” that he believes helped him as a legislator.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015/Author: Mike Brubaker
Categories: Features
Three Wolf nominees sail through confirmation hearings

Three Wolf nominees sail through confirmation hearings

Three of Gov. Tom Wolf’s department head nominees had confirmation hearings Tuesday and all three were unanimously moved along in the process toward their confirmation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Medical marijuana, collective bargaining transparency bills advance to Senate floor

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a trio of high-profile bills to the Senate floor Monday, moving medical marijuana legislation and two bills said to bring transparency to collective bargaining agreements to the full Senate for consideration.

Monday, May 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Capitol Quick Hits for 5.4.15

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

  • The Pennsylvania Psychological Association held their annual Advocacy Day in the East Wing Rotunda to mark May as Mental Health Awareness Month in the commonwealth. PPA Executive Director Krista Patermostro Bower reported nearly 44 million Americans experience a mental health problem in a given year, with statistics from the Department of Human Services showing more than 250,000 Pennsylvanians have been diagnosed with some form of mental health challenge. 
  • The National Association of Letter Carriers announced their Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive starting on May 9th. Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes.  

  • The acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Teresa Osborne led policymakers and advocates in a celebration of Older Americans Month. She stated that 2.7 million individuals are over age 60 in Pennsylvania and explained the department partners with other state agencies to provide opportunities for older Pennsylvanians to live independent, productive, meaningful lives while maintaining close family ties. 

  • Pennsylvania Court Watch and others gathered in front of the Pennsylvania Justice Center in Harrisburg today to call for the reform of Pennsylvania’s court system. Diane Gochin from Pennsylvania Court Watch told rally participants, “Our economy, our taxes, everything is being controlled in this building behind us.” 

Monday, May 4, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Event Central
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IFO revenue estimate: short term positives, long term uncertainties

IFO revenue estimate: short term positives, long term uncertainties

According to the initial FY 2015-2016 revenue estimate released Monday by the Independent Fiscal Office, revenue projections for the short-term appear rosier than original estimates suggested.

The report notes that while currently positive trends in terms of low inflation, increased consumer spending, and larger corporate profits have led to an increase of revenue projections, uncertainties pertaining to the cause of corporate revenue growth and the use of one-time revenue sources in the current fiscal year cloud the prospect of long-term positive growth.

“The revisions we are making now are good news short-term, but long term it is unclear how it is going to play out,” said IFO Director Matthew Knittel during Monday’s briefing. “Much of these revenues could not be carried forward.”

As an overview, IFO’s revised estimate now puts FY 2014-2015 General Fund revenue estimates at $30.6 billion, which they say is a $1.9 billion increase over the prior fiscal year and $594 million higher than the original estimate in August.

Monday, May 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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