June 30, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - One legislative chamber down, one to go. After nearly four hours of debate Thursday, the House of Representatives voted, 120-81, to approve a proposed $27.65 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Sunday. The measure now heads to the Senate, which could vote on it as early as Friday. Republicans who control both chambers have hailed the budget deal with Republican Gov. Corbett as a sensible and responsible spending plan in tough economic times that controls spending and does not raise taxes.
June 30, 2012 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie signed a $31.7 billion budget bill Friday for the coming fiscal year, but not before he cut $361 million in Democratic-backed initiatives, including measures that would have provided more money for legal services to the poor, aid for low-income students aiming for college, and a tax credit for low-wage earners. The Republican governor instead diverted those funds to the state's surplus, doubling it to $648 million. He wants Democrats to cut taxes and said he would fight them on the issue all summer.
June 27, 2012 |
A NEW, big-money political-action committee turned up on the Pennsylvania radar screen this spring — at exactly the same time that the Philadelphia Archdiocese launched a full-court press for legislation in Harrisburg that would pump millions of dollars of scholarship money into its struggling schools. The new Fighting Chance PA PAC shares a name with a self-described grass-roots campaign launched in March by the Pennsylvania Catholic Coalition, and it shares office space with wealthy King of Prussia developer Brian O'Neill, who spearheaded a drive to raise $12 million from 10 anonymous donors earlier this year to keep open four endangered Catholic high schools.
June 21, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - With the clock winding down toward the General Assembly's summer break, Gov. Corbett made his biggest public push yet to line up legislative support for his plan to bring a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant to Western Pennsylvania. Flanked Wednesday afternoon by two dozen supporters of the plan, including Democratic and Republican lawmakers and labor and business leaders, Corbett urged the General Assembly to approve a $1.65 billion economic incentive package to seal a deal with Shell Chemical L.P. that he said will "reindustrialize" the state.
June 18, 2012 |
The Corbett administration is mounting a full-court press to persuade Shell Chemical L.P. to build a huge petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania that officials see as the cornerstone of a manufacturing revival fueled by Marcellus Shale natural gas. Members of Corbett's cabinet last week began pressing legislators to approve a tax credit that could exempt Shell from much of its state tax burden for a quarter-century — up to $1.65 billion over...
June 12, 2012
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are already separated by 300 miles and a range of mountains, but there is no reason for them to be divided by spite. Yet it was spite that I sensed in the Daily News' reaction to tax credits being planned to attract a massive, new petrochemical plant in the state's southwest. After months of negotiation by Gov. Tom Corbett and his staff, Shell Chemical LC announced that it had optioned 300 acres on the site of a closed zinc plant in Beaver County and — if all proceeds according to plan — would build a $4 billion petrochemical complex that would create as many as 10,000 construction jobs and spin off thousands of other jobs once it was running.
June 12, 2012 |
When Josh King heard that small businesses could get a tax credit for offering health insurance to employees, his reaction was, "Cool, that'll save us some money. " Then he looked at the not-so-fine print. The 23 employees of Avvo Inc., a website that provides legal, medical and dental advice, make too much money for the company to qualify for the credit. "It was a little bit disappointing. It was a little bit more limited than I thought," said King, general counsel for the company, which is based in Seattle.
June 6, 2012 |
Gov. Tom Corbett wants Pennsylvania to promise a 5-cent-a-gallon tax credit for Shell Chemical L.P. and other manufacturers using Pennsylvania ethane, a Marcellus Shale drilling-zone product the governor says could be the base for a new plastics industry. Steve Kratz, spokesman for Corbett's Department of Community and Economic Development, which gives out business subsidies and tax breaks when it's not forcing cash-strapped city governments to pay their bondholders, called Monday to explain the thinking behind the idea, after Capitolwire.com columnist Peter L. DeCoursey posted an account of a "secretive" ethane-tax proposal in Corbett's budget.
May 25, 2012
Q. I think electric cars are the wave of the future. As soon as I read that [GM's Volt is available in all states], I contacted a nearby Chevy dealer who has been a lifelong friend to get on the list to buy one. He assured me that I'd be among his first 50. The price will be about $40,000. The demand is apparently so great that the dealer will be able to demand full sticker price for some time to come, so I got no price break. However, he assured me that the price hit will be softened by a federal income-tax credit.