General Assembly starts 2018 with fewer faces and minor shakeups as lawmakers seek to focus on non-budgetary priorities

General Assembly starts 2018 with fewer faces and minor shakeups as lawmakers seek to focus on non-budgetary priorities

As the Pennsylvania General Assembly returned to Harrisburg Tuesday to fulfill its Article II, section 4 state constitutional obligation to meet annually at noon on the first Tuesday in January, it did so with fewer faces, one new face, and a call to move beyond the fiscal debates that have weighed down policy progress in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Proposed office designed to attract and retain new Pennsylvanians comes under Republican scrutiny

Proposed office designed to attract and retain new Pennsylvanians comes under Republican scrutiny

For FY 2016-2017, Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal includes an $877,000 line-item to be dedicated to a new office, called the Office for New Pennsylvanians, whose mission is to attract people to Pennsylvania and keep them in an effort to spur economic development.

At a Monday budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee, the proposal came under scrutiny from some Republican members who were concerned that the office might be a way to encourage illegal immigrants to come to Pennsylvania.

Monday, February 29, 2016/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

As House budget hearings end, Appropriations members offer thoughts

Thursday marked the end of the three-week House Appropriations Committee budget hearing process where committee members and other interested Representatives heard from nearly every facet of state government receiving funding in the coming fiscal year’s budget.

The PLS Reporter caught up with a few of the committee’s member to get their thoughts on the budget hearing process and what they think will happen with Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget going forward.

“Generally, it’s a lot of what we expected,” said Rep. Seth Grove (R-York). “Not a lot of answers on specifics, they kept it at ‘it’s a comprehensive plan,’ which kind of triggers ‘we want everything and we’re not willing to negotiate,’ which is very bad moving forward meaning it’s either this or nothing.”

In the end, he said, more questions remain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Wolf administration will continue effort to attract Shell ethane cracker plant

Acting DCED Sec. Dennis Davin told members of the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday that the Wolf administration is continuing efforts to attract and finally bring the proposed Shell ethane cracker plant to Beaver County.

“I think part of what we’ve done is look at opportunities to really significantly work with [Shell] going forward,” said Sec. Davin, noting the administration does not yet know when a final decision will be made.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
IFO downgrades structural deficit by as much as $400 million

IFO downgrades structural deficit by as much as $400 million

The Independent Fiscal Office reported to the House Appropriations Committee Monday that the structural deficit facing budget crafters might be less than originally thought.

Asked by Chairman Bill Adolph (R-Delaware) about how increased revenues have impacted a previously reported IFO deficit estimate of $1.8 billion, Office director Matthew Knittel reported it has been reduced by $300-$400 million landing somewhere around $1.5 billion.

“We would revise it down to somewhere around $1.5 [billion] or $1.6 [billion],” he told committee members while noting it is difficult to determine the exact number due to supplemental appropriations.

Monday, March 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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