Wolf budget task force blames corporate tax cuts and one-time revenue transfers for $2.3 billion deficit

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force released its report on Pennsylvania’s fiscal health and found the Commonwealth faces a $2.3 billion structural deficit fueled by cuts to corporate taxes and one-time fund transfers to balance the 2014-2015 General Fund budget.

The task force was headed by former state representative and current Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.

Friday, January 16, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Wolf adds public safety chiefs to cabinet

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf filled out public safety related cabinet positions Thursday, making four picks to lead the Pennsylvania State Police, Office of Fire Commissioner, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Thursday, January 15, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Wolf names three cabinet nominees, one appointment

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf continued adding to his cabinet nominees Wednesday by announcing one appointment and three more nominations, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation.

The first round of nominations came early Wednesday afternoon when Gov.-elect Wolf named his picks to lead DEP, DCNR, and the Office of Administration.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Policy shift puts public school expenditures in greater public view

Like a phoenix rising from legislative ashes, a one-time legislative proposal was given new life Wednesday when the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) announced the launch of SchoolWATCH on the department’s website.

The data will be available as a new feature of the department’s school performance profile website.

Rep. Christiana called the move “the next step in restoring trust in Pennsylvania’s government.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Danger of municipal bankruptcy looms as more pension funds enter distress

Danger of municipal bankruptcy looms as more pension funds enter distress

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Wednesday sounded the alarm on the increasing number of municipalities whose pension plans are in distress, leading to the possibility of property tax increases, cuts to public safety, or eventual bankruptcy.

Providing an updated municipal pensions report DePasquale noted 562 municipalities—nearly half of those administering pension plans—have underfunded their pension obligations so much that those plans have ended up in distressed status.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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