House sends budget bill to Senate over objections from 55+ Democrats

House sends budget bill to Senate over objections from 55+ Democrats

The House voted Tuesday to approve a $33.9 billion spending bill for the 2019-20 fiscal year despite the repeated objections of many Democrats, who pushed to turn the debate towards a raise to the state’s minimum wage.

Citing concerns ranging from eliminating the General Assistance program to the lack of a minimum wage increase to support for public education that didn’t go far enough, all-in-all, 62 members, including seven Republicans, voted not to support the budget. 
Tuesday, June 25, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
5 bills to watch for the week of June 17

5 bills to watch for the week of June 17

We get it, session weeks are busy. That’s why we put together a list of the bills being discussed in committee and on the floor of the General Assembly that are worth devoting your precious time to tracking. From 5G to budget reform, here are five bills to watch for the week of June 17.
Friday, June 14, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
GOP appropriators eyeing reforms to state budget process

GOP appropriators eyeing reforms to state budget process

In Harrisburg, June is known  — sometimes infamously — as the month that bears the annual state budget. This year, some lawmakers are hoping to make reforms to the budgetary process to create a more transparent approach to the yearly negotiations.

Republican lawmakers in the House have put together a four-bill package that aims to provide the legislature with more oversight and information as they develop the budget. 
Wednesday, May 29, 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
While funding boost for community colleges possible, lawmakers skeptical of Wolf grant proposal

While funding boost for community colleges possible, lawmakers skeptical of Wolf grant proposal

Lawmakers are expressing skepticism of a grant program proposed in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget that would help underwrite community college tuition for students who stay in Pennsylvania, saying the proposal is presently lacking detail and the money could be better used elsewhere.

The $8 million line item, dubbed “Educate and Stay in PA,” would give one-time grants of up to $2,500 to community college students who stay and work in the state after graduation. 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
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