June 24, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a proposal to legalize online wagering and permit slot machines in airports and off-track betting sites, a plan supporters say could generate $250 million a year in revenue. The bill, which also would regulate and tax fantasy sports contests, still needs final approval by the House and in the Senate, where its fate is not assured. Proponents hailed it as a key step as the state inches toward a new fiscal year without a budget deal yet in place.
February 17, 2016
By Jim Cawley, Maari Porter, and Pedro A. Ramos Amid last week's wintry blast, Gov. Wolf unveiled his 2016-17 budget proposal, a frigid reminder of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves as a commonwealth. With a new fiscal year just around the corner, Pennsylvania remains burdened by the inadequate 2015-16 budget signed on Dec. 29 by the governor, in which he vetoed $7 billion in spending after prolonged wrangling with the Republican-led legislature. Current funding levels are woefully insufficient for a properly functioning commonwealth and, barring further action in Harrisburg, could in fact threaten the education of our children and the well-being of many of our most at-risk populations.
February 11, 2016
NOT TO UNDULY alarm anyone, but it appears that Pennsylvania never will have a budget again, at least not one from Democratic Gov. Wolf and the current Republican legislature. Wolf on Tuesday growled at lawmakers, gave them what-for, saying, "Get back to work. " Then, close to employing the royal we , said that if they sent him another budget like the ones they like, "I will not be amused. " Not so sure the tactic worked. Afterward, Senate GOP Leader Jake Corman said, "We're further apart than we ever were.
October 10, 2015 |
Jim Kenney, the Democratic nominee for mayor, on Thursday repeated his push for "universal pre-K" for all 4-year-olds in Philadelphia by the end of his first term if he wins the Nov. 3 general election. Kenney, however, would not detail how he would fund that $60 million plan. While touring a pre-K classroom in the Spring Garden neighborhood with Gov. Wolf and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Kenney said the details would come in next year's budget process. "At this specific point in time, you're not going to get any specifics from me," Kenney said, "because we want to be sure we have every 'T' crossed and every 'I' dotted before we trot out a plan.
October 5, 2015
ISSUE | PA. BUDGET Stymied by the GOP The Republican stopgap budget is yet another gimmick that shortchanges the people of Pennsylvania. Republicans in Harrisburg have become too comfortable with politics as usual, and the stopgap they passed embraces a failed status quo that is preventing Pennsylvania from moving forward. The Republican legislature has passed fiscally irresponsible budgets for four years. We are facing a multibillion-dollar deficit and are trying to recover from numerous credit downgrades.
September 9, 2015 |
All the talk about not starting another school year amid financial uncertainty was apparently just that: talk. School doors will open on time today, but with the legislature and Gov. Wolf still dueling over the state budget, the fiscal cloud hanging over Philadelphia and other districts hasn't dissipated. City Council President Darrell Clarke's recent comments didn't help, throwing cold water on what was supposed to be a unified effort to convince legislators from other parts of Pennsylvania that the Philadelphia schools no longer deserve the spendthrift reputation that has served as a convenient cudgel to beat back requests for more education dollars.
June 30, 2015
TODAY WE LOOK at Harrisburg's budget process. We do so because many wonder why the process causes such grief. It's simple really. Grief is what politics is about: politicians give each other grief; politicians cause taxpayers grief. It's just the way of the world. So, at a colleague's suggestion, here's how the budget is working through the well-known five stages of grief. Stage one? Denial: The new governor, the "different kind of governor," Democrat Tom Wolf, on March 3 proposes bold plans to make Pennsylvania better.
June 24, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats on Monday unveiled the broad contours of the budget they will submit to Gov. Christie, saying they would make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system by raising taxes on businesses and the state's highest earners. Christie, a Republican who says he will announce whether he is running for president by the end of the month, has vowed not to raise taxes. The state constitution requires the Legislature to pass, and the governor to sign, a balanced budget by next Tuesday.
March 13, 2015 |
New Jersey lawmakers scrutinized Gov. Christie's proposed $33.8 billion budget Wednesday, hearing testimony in South Jersey on how the spending plan could affect hospitals, higher education, historic preservation, and services. Even as lawmakers welcomed comments on the merits of funding for those issues, they impressed upon the public the tight constraints of the budget. The Assembly Budget Committee convened at Collingswood's Scottish Rite Auditorium. The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to meet March 25 at Rowan College of Gloucester County in Sewell.
February 27, 2015 |
Included in the $12.7 billion that Gov. Christie is proposing to spend on pre-K to grade-12 education is a measure bound to raise hopes as well as eyebrows - a pilot program that would pay for students in failing schools to attend private, religious, or out-of-district public schools. Christie's proposed fiscal 2016 budget calls for $2 million to fund a demonstration model based on the never-passed Opportunity Scholarship Act. Long a supporter of vouchers and other school-choice measures, Christie put a pilot program in his proposed budget two years ago, but it was removed by the Legislature's Democratic majority.