budget

State Government Leaders Back in Harrisburg Rummaging for Funds

The General Assembly returns to Harrisburg this week in search of more than $2 billion to fully fund, as required by law, the $32 billion spending plan that was sent to the governor last Friday. The available options are all unwelcome: borrowing; more gambling; increasing taxes; shifting money between funds.

Lawmakers Sue Wolf for Silencing Pension Watchdog

Lawmakers Sue Wolf Administration Over Takeover Of Pension Watchdog Commission; Spending Authorization Scrutinized During Budget Hearings

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Governor Wolf uses budget address to insult legislators, demand higher taxes and spending

On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf brazenly scolded House and Senate Republican lawmakers instead of presenting a budget proposal to an equal branch of government. The budget fiasco now consuming Harrisburg, he said, is the result of Republicans playing politics and ignoring the math. He then went on a political tirade, saying throughout the address that lawmakers were risking the welfare, and even the lives, of the elderly and children.

The problem? He’s the one whose math is wrong.

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Rookie Governor Inflicts Six Months of Pain and Suffering for No Reason

For all practical purposes, the General Fund budget signed in part by Governor Wolf in late December was the same one he vetoed in early July. At the time of the signing, he didn’t indulge the press to answer the most obvious question: why sign it now but not then? Surely, he could have saved a lot of people a lot of grief, and the taxpayers a lot of money. Instead of taking questions, he chastised the legislative leaders, calling the budget “garbage” and “an exercise in stupidity” and then left. The tragedy is that all this was completely unnecessary.

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Kids Face Loss Of Millions In Scholarship Money Under “Education Governor”

Under current Pennsylvania law, it is solely the responsibility of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to release Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits (OSTC) to the approved business applicants. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is currently withholding $150 million in credits, threatening the future of schools and programs that serve our most vulnerable student populations.

“General Assembly Budget” Now More Likely As Shutdown Effects Worsen

Legislative sources say that the next move to break Governor Wolf’s budget shutdown, now in its 16 week, will be to give the governor a piece of his original state spending plan: a higher sales tax in exchange for a reduction in local property taxes, while remaining firm on other key items. The plan amounts to a dollar-for-dollar sales tax and property tax exchange. It would come with one major provision; that future local tax increases would have to be approved through referendum.

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Democrats Reject Funding Social Service Programs As Budget Impasse Drags On

This week, House Republicans needed just a little Democratic help to fund an array of social services, stranded by the now eight week impasse over a state spending plan. They didn’t get it.