Archive

Budget blues: Moody’s downgrades Pennsylvania’s bond rating

July 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

That didn’t take long.

Just weeks after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a patchwork budget and skipped town without addressing pension reform, Moody’s has downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating. It dropped the state fom Aa2 … Read the rest

Even with GOP majority, Pennsylvania can’t push ahead conservative agenda

July 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As Gov. Tom Corbett crisscrosses Pennsylvania to gin up support for public pension reform while lawmakers break for the summer, there’s ample opportunity to explore what has held up legislation that could save the … Read the rest

Corbett signs budget, but Republican rift deepens

July 11, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion state budget on Thursday — 10 days late — but his showdown with the General Assembly over pension reform is far from over.

Corbett used … Read the rest

All eyes on Corbett as budget stalemate drags on

July 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Another day has passed, and Pennsylvania is still without a budget.

So far, services haven’t been affected, but the impasse has made for intriguing political theater as Republican Gov. Tom Corbett jousts with the Republican-controlled Legislature … Read the rest

Corbett leaves budget unsigned after lawmakers clash on spending plan

July 1, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett’s holding out.

Corbett delayed signing the $29.1 billion state budget that Republican lawmakers sent to his desk late Monday night, making good on statements that he was willing … Read the rest

As budget deadline nears, Corbett still waiting on pension reform

June 30, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Sweeping pension reform? Nope.

Getting the state out of the liquor business? Uh-uh.

Neither of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s legislative priorities were addressed Sunday, as next year’s spending plan got closer to his … Read the rest

Liquor privatization doubts linger as House moves budget

June 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state House approved a $29.1 billion budget Wednesday, which banks on $380 million from selling off the state’s liquor stores. The budget now heads to the state Senate.

“This is not … Read the rest

After idling, ‘paycheck protection’ kick-started in House

June 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — There have been rallies, TV commercials and plenty of public speeches about so-called “paycheck protection” over the past several months, but all the while, legislation that would stop state and local governments … Read the rest

Pension bill could get a vote next week, but it sidesteps funding issues

June 19, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

House Republicans, urged on by Gov. Tom Corbett, hope to move forward next week with a plan to overhaul the state pension systems.

But what isn’t contained in their proposal could prove to be … Read the rest

Despite budget struggles, General Assembly sitting on big cash

June 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania might be facing a two-year deficit of $1.4 billion, but not everybody is hurting.

Aside from their $84,000 base salaries, session-day per diems and public pensions, Pennsylvania lawmakers had a reserve … Read the rest

State alcohol sale reform caught in ‘Mexican standoff’

June 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As everyone from beer retailers, the grocery industry and unionized workers fight for their well-being, a proposal to reform Pennsylvania’s alcohol sales system languished for another day in the state Senate on … Read the rest

Corbett endorses Tobash pension plan, but savings could be iffy

June 6, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The effort to fix Pennsylvania’s pension problems got a boost from Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday, but there are still lots of questions about whether the effort will save the state much money.

Corbett … Read the rest

With revenue lagging, lawmakers eye higher cigarette tax

June 3, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Some state lawmakers have eyed a severance tax on natural gas extraction as the revenue hero that could swoop in at the last-minute to save Pennsylvania’s struggling budget.

But could it have … Read the rest

May bringing more bad budget news

May 30, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The bad budget news just won’t stop in Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Jake Corman and state Rep. William Adolph, the Republican chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committees, said … Read the rest

Reform-minded activists deliver cash ‘bribes’ in state Capitol

May 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — For about a decade, activists for government reform have tried unsuccessfully to persuade Pennsylvania lawmakers and two governors to ban gifts.

On Tuesday, they started speaking in cash, though none of the … Read the rest

It’s Tom vs. Tom in the race for governor

May 21, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

It’s Tom vs. Tom for the highest office in Pennsylvania.

York County businessman Tom Wolf will face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November after trouncing three Democratic opponents in Tuesday’s primary election. Polls closed at … Read the rest

Lights, cameras, tax breaks! State House OKs more subsidies for Hollywood

May 13, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers will soon be racing to fill a budget deficit that could top $1 billion in the next fiscal year, but there’s still a glimmer of hope the financial news won’t be all … Read the rest

Report: Online gaming could bring state millions in taxes

May 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A report released Wednesday indicated Pennsylvania could bring in millions of dollars in new taxes if it legalized online gambling, but there’s no guarantee thus far that lawmakers will try to use … Read the rest

Budget shortfall may scuttle governor’s plan to boost education funding

May 6, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — A $600 million shortfall could jeopardize Gov. Tom Corbett’s plans to spend more on public education next year.

In his proposed fiscal 2014-15 budget, Corbett called for $387 million in new spending … Read the rest

PA lawmakers get stern warnings from three major credit rating agencies

May 5, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Indepenent

Once is a fluke, twice can be a coincidence.

But three times is a trend.

During the past two weeks, all three major credit rating agencies have issued stern warnings to Pennsylvania policymakers in … Read the rest