VIDEO: Gordner gives latest on budget negotiations

VIDEO: Gordner gives latest on budget negotiations

Senate Majority Whip John Gordner sat down with The PLS Reporter to give an update on state budget negotiations. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015/Author: Alanna Koll
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Monday budget negotiation and pension reform bill update

It was quiet most of the day in the Capitol building Monday as leadership staff met with high-ranking Wolf administration officials to discuss the budget.

By observation, and according to Capitol sources, legislative leaders were trickling into Harrisburg Monday afternoon as they prepare to begin budget renegotiations in earnest.

Monday, July 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
GOP leaders’ letter to Wolf: Budget veto “puts politics over governing”

GOP leaders’ letter to Wolf: Budget veto “puts politics over governing”

A day after Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican-crafted spending plan last week, budget negotiators surfaced from a regrouping meeting with new resolve to find compromise. However, less than a week later, GOP leaders sent a letter to the governor with a stark tone about their true feelings of the governor’s full veto of the budget.

“Your indiscriminate veto of House Bill 1192, the Fiscal Year 2015-16 General Appropriations Bill, puts politics above governing," the letter begins. "The veto unnecessarily withholds billions of dollars in undisputed state and federal funds, which will prevent social service organizations from accessing their state funds, and prevent school districts from accessing federal fund appropriations.”

The leaders in their letter point out that 274 of the 400 line items in the budget sent to the governor last week meet or exceed the appropriations laid out by the governor in his March 3rd budget address.

"Clearly, there was no reason to hold those who would receive these funds captive during this unnecessary budget standoff," they said.

Monday, July 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Gov. Wolf vetoes liquor privatization, budget implementation bills

Gov. Wolf vetoes liquor privatization, budget implementation bills

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday afternoon his veto of a liquor privatization bill passed by the General Assembly as well as two budget implementation bills in the form of the School Code and Fiscal Code.

In vetoing House Bill 466, liquor privatization legislation sponsored by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), Gov. Wolf said the legislation is irresponsible.

“This legislation falls short of a responsible means to reform our state liquor system and to maximize revenues to benefit our citizen,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. “It makes bad business sense for the Commonwealth and consumers to sell off an asset, especially before maximizing its value. During consideration of this legislation, it became abundantly clear that this plan would result in higher prices for consumers.”

House Bill 466 is the first liquor privatization bill sent to a governor and would have phased out the current state retail liquor market according to a formula.

Thursday, July 2, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Budget negotiators find new resolve, but remain far apart

Budget negotiators find new resolve, but remain far apart

After a 2:00 p.m. closed-door meeting Wednesday, top legislative leaders and aides from both parties in the two chambers of the General Assembly emerged with Gov. Tom Wolf and his high ranking staff boasting renewed resolve to find agreement on a General Fund budget, but recognizing the two sides remain far apart on numbers.

With the governor’s fiscal year-eve veto of the Republican-crafted budget bill sent to his desk, Pennsylvania’s new fiscal year started off without a spending plan in place, leaving the potential for vendors and human service organizations to be cut off from needed state funds.

One thing all parties agreed to after Wednesday’s meeting was that staff meetings would begin immediately on topics, but substantive budget negotiations between the governor and legislative leaders would not begin again until after the July 4th holiday.

“We’re going to be working between now and the weekend, and then on Monday all sides are going to sit down to work with working groups,” said Gov. Wolf. “We now have two plans out there, mine and the plan that came out last night, and we’re going to sit down and spend how long it takes and make sure we are on the same page.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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