PERC temporarily restored through bipartisan agreement

PERC temporarily restored through bipartisan agreement

The Public Employee Retirement Commission—a recent source of contention between Republicans and the Wolf administration after the latter disbanded the commission and scattered its functions throughout state government—is temporarily restored to full function Thursday in a bipartisan agreement.

The bipartisan agreement reached between the Wolf administration, Office of Attorney General, and petitioners Representatives Seth Grove (R-York) and Steve Bloom (R-Cumberland) only restores PERC and its functions until an en banc panel of the Commonwealth Court rules on whether the Wolf administration exceeded its authority in eliminating the commission.

Thursday, March 3, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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
Budget impasse could maybe, possibly, perhaps be over this weekend

Budget impasse could maybe, possibly, perhaps be over this weekend

Hopes were higher than ever among some at Pennsylvania’s Capitol Friday with the news that Gov. Tom Wolf secured enough votes in both chambers to pass a revenue package that will fund the $30.8 billion budget plan agreed-to as part of the framework announced just before Thanksgiving.

"We are confident we have the votes to pass a revenue package," said Gov. Wolf's press secretary Jeff Sheridan. "We look forward to bringing this impasse to an end so we can fund our schools, balance the budget, begin to fix our deficit and move Pennsylvania forward."

Sheridan could not confirm the number of Republican or Democratic votes in the House—the chamber with the largest question mark in terms of tax increase support—that will be used to get a majority in the chamber.

Friday, December 18, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House to Senate: Show me the money

House to Senate: Show me the money

With the House in a rare Sunday evening voting session, budget bills slowly started making their way through that chamber as legislators are hopeful of getting a budget done by week’s end.

However, one question is still nagging members of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives: Where will the revenue come from to support the budget plan?

When noting the Senate has said it has done its job in sending budget bills over to the House before recessing and going on six-hour call last week, members of both parties of the House asked where the money is to support the $30.8 billion spending plan currently in their chamber.

“We have two tax code bills sitting over in the Senate, so if they were serious about sending everything over they would have loaded the taxes to pay for their funding and send it over,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “The fact that the two House tax code bills are still sitting in Senate Finance Committee, I would have to say you’ve got to pay for what you spend.”

Sunday, December 13, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Competing budget bills could emerge Sunday

Competing budget bills could emerge Sunday

The House Republican caucus seemed to emerge from a several hours-long internal meeting Saturday afternoon with bad news for fans of the five-party budget framework agreed to just before Thanksgiving.

Following what appeared to be a complicated discussion, rank-and-file members told reporters that the caucus has agreed to run a pared-down $30.2 billion budget bill that no longer includes the governor’s increases in public education and also no longer includes GOP priorities of pension and liquor reform.

That bill is slated for a Sunday vote in the House Appropriations Committee.

“It’s far pared-down,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “No sales tax, sales tax expansion, PIT, that kind of stuff.”

He said the decision to drop pension and liquor reform was made after the realization the governor would not support the concepts without his desired increases in revenue, but he did not say whether or not the proposal would fly with Senate Republicans or the governor.

Saturday, December 5, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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