Funding for state commission still up in the air as lawmakers talk 2020 Census strategy

Funding for state commission still up in the air as lawmakers talk 2020 Census strategy

With the 2020 Census looming, lawmakers are still considering the prospect of whether to allocate state funding to Gov. Tom Wolf’s commission charged with getting the word out about the survey, which proponents argue could help fight against undercounting in the state.

But lawmakers expressed an array of concerns at a Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing on the matter Monday. They ranged from ruffled feathers over Wolf’s decision to unilaterally bond $90 million to fund voting machine replacement in the state to criticism over a lack of communication from the commission and worries the commission has not done enough to ensure it targets rural residents.
Monday, July 15, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
NEPA legislators want to save waste coal industry, even as environmental concerns remain

NEPA legislators want to save waste coal industry, even as environmental concerns remain

NESQUEHONING, Pa.—A bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing to boost the state’s coal refuse industry, arguing more needs to be done to enhance the public-private partnership to avoid a fate similar to that of the state’s nuclear industry.

Currently, there are almost 200,000 acres of abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania. In an effort to reclaim that land, 13 power plants across the state burn the waste coal for fuel. They then sell the energy and use those funds to invest in improving the mine-scarred land, which can then be developed.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Shapiro, grand jury recommend changes to crack down on Medicaid fraud

Shapiro, grand jury recommend changes to crack down on Medicaid fraud

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro revealed findings from a grand jury investigation into the state’s medical assistance program earlier this week, outlining three potential legislative solutions that could help Pennsylvania crack down on Medicaid fraud. 
 

Shapiro said the investigation emanated from two separate Medicaid fraud investigations that inspired the grand jury to explore ways to better police fraud in the state’s medical assistance program. One involved the mother of an autistic daughter who directed caregivers to perform work around the house rather than care for her daughter. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
Did You Get The Memo? Sexual assault, special elections and committee chair selection legislation

Did You Get The Memo? Sexual assault, special elections and committee chair selection legislation

With so much legislation filed in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, some naturally garner more attention than others. From resolutions designating the state pet of Pennsylvania to bills that have significant financial implications, a lot can be unearthed from sifting through the legislature’s co-sponsorship memos.
 
In the past week, there has been an array of proposals that would affect everything from sexual assault protocols in schools and the General Assembly to how special elections in the state are funded, which is why we’re going to take a look at some of the most interesting co-sponsorship memos filed in the General Assembly this week.
Friday, March 22, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
IFO releases projections for school property tax replacement

IFO releases projections for school property tax replacement

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) has released their latest projections that detail how much of an increase in personal income taxes (PIT) the state would need to impose to generate revenue if school property taxes for homesteads were eliminated.
 
The IFO determined that to raise enough revenue through a PIT to replace homestead property tax revenues, the state would need to increase the PIT by 1.9 percent to generate the same amount of funding. This would raise approximately $8.5 billion in revenue in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, roughly the same amount that taxing properties is expected to bring in.
Monday, March 18, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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