Pennsylvania Budget

Government & Politics
3:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

PA Budget Chief Defends Governor's Spending Plan

Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget secretary has started three weeks of budget hearings by defending the use of revenue predictions built into a proposed $29.4 billion spending plan.

Charles Zogby acknowledges the budget proposal rests, in part, on reducing the state’s payments into the two public pension systems — something that still requires action by the Legislature.

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Government & Politics
2:46 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

PA Democrats Outline Priorities Ahead of Governor’s Budget Address

From left to right: Senators Matt Smith, Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana outline 2014-15 Democratic budget priorities.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Less than one week before Gov. Tom Corbett delivers his annual budget address, Pennsylvania Democrats fanned out across the commonwealth announcing their spending priorities.

They are calling on Corbett to focus on five main areas: education, Medicaid expansion, human service programs, jobs and development, and increasing the minimum wage.

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Government & Politics
10:30 am
Thu December 19, 2013

PA Budget Chief Warns of $1.4 Billion Budget Shortfall Next Fiscal Year

The governor’s budget secretary is warning if the current financial picture holds, the commonwealth could face up to a $1.4 billion shortfall in the next fiscal year.

Charles Zogby said the budget deficit is due largely to rising personnel costs like health care and pensions.

But a reduction in federal funds for medical assistance and cost increases in the state’s prisons system are also contributing to the gap.

Zogby said the Corbett administration is still trying to avoid cuts.

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Budget Savings
4:48 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

PA Dems Outline Budget Savings, Investment in Jobs, Education

Before the holidays, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to deliver his mid-fiscal year budget update. 

Citing a November report by the Independent Fiscal Office that the commonwealth faces a projected structural budget deficit of $839 million, Senate Democrats Tuesday unveiled a savings and investment plan.

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Pennsylvania Budget
9:49 am
Thu June 27, 2013

PA Dems Won't Let Medicaid Debate Die

As the budget battle comes to a boil in Harrisburg, the fight over Medicaid expansion is heating up right along side it.  

Lawmakers for the most part are split along party lines with Republicans supporting Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision to not opt into the federal government’s offer, while Democrats are calling for the state to expand the program as soon as possible.

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State Government
3:54 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Senate Dems Offer Their Own Budget Proposal

As lawmakers in the state House teed up the legislative vehicle for a state budget Monday morning, Senate Democrats offered their view on what the final spending plan should look like.

The Senate Democrats' plan amounts to about $28.4 billion — roughly $56 million above what the governor proposed. It depends on the so-called modernization of the state's liquor system, keeping a business tax the governor wants to eliminate, and the state's participation in a federally authorized expansion of the Medicaid program.

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Government & Politics
2:00 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pennsylvania Business Leaders Seek Tax Changes from Lawmakers

On the heels of news that Pennsylvania ranks 42nd in the nation for best places to do business, the CompetePA Coalition is calling on lawmakers to change the corporate tax structure. In particular, the group is asking that the $3 million cap on net operating loss (NOL) carryforwards be eliminated.

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Higher Education
12:17 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

IUP Inaugurates Driscoll as New President

Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael A. Driscoll
Credit Indiana University of Pennsylvania

With nine months already on the job, Mike Driscoll will be officially inaugurated Friday afternoon as president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Driscoll, who began his duties last July, came to IUP from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, where he was provost and executive vice chancellor.

Driscoll said he came to IUP because of what makes it a great campus.

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State Budget
9:58 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Panel Says PA Budget Has Strong, Largely Negative Impact on Women

Panelists Jessie Ramey (standing), Chris Sandvig, LaTasha Mayes and Lisa Frank discuss the impacts of the proposed state budget on women.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the impact the state budget has on women was examined at a Women and Girls Foundation forum.

Slightly more than 51 percent of Pennsylvania’s population is made up of women, according to U.S. Census data. The state budget affects every resident of the state, but some argue that budget cuts to certain areas disproportionately affect women, especially women of color.

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Government & Politics
9:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

PA Senators Heap Praise on New DPW Chief

A state Senate hearing offered lawmakers a chance to heap anticipatory praise on the state Department of Public Welfare's brand-new chief.

The chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee had to ask the audience to refrain from applause - not a common request during budget hearings.

Nevertheless, lawmakers on the panel found other ways to gush. One called acting secretary Bev Mackereth tremendous. Another said she's a breath of fresh air.

Not Democratic state Senator Larry Farnese of Philadelphia.

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Education, state budget
3:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Flat State Funding for PA Community Colleges Could Jeopardize Accessibility, Affordability

Community College presidents from around the commonwealth addressed the House Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing this week, making the case for increased funding.

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Pennsylvania Budget
11:18 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Corbett Administration Defends One-time Funding for Schools

The state Capitol is where the sausage is made, or so the saying goes. So perhaps it makes sense that, with so many big proposals to negotiate, there's been a lot of talk about links.

One example: the governor's liquor privatization plan has been linked to education funding, in that his proposal would put $1 billion raised through selling off state stores and liquor licenses toward one-time grants for schools - a program called Passport to Learning.

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Mass Transit
11:09 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Conservative Think Tank: Corbett's Transportation Numbers Don't Add Up

When Governor Corbett released his proposed 2013-14 budget of $28.4 billion this month, it included a transportation investment plan.

The governor said that his five year initiative would total more than $5.3 billion--roughly an additional $250 million per year for mass transit in Pennsylvania.

But Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute, a conservative think tank, said the increased amounts don't add up.

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PA State Police
11:34 am
Thu February 21, 2013

State Police Face Shortages in Wake Of Municipal Budget Cuts

PA State Police fight for more funding to add troopers to patrol municipalities.
Credit Sean M. Flynn/Flickr

The increasing reliance on the Pennsylvania State Police isn’t letting up any time soon, in spite of the governor’s plan to put another 380 troopers on patrol.

The head of the State Police is voicing concern about the growing number of municipalities depending on the agency for their police coverage. As communities look to cut costs by shrinking their police departments, the State Police are left to pick up the slack.

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Budget Reaction
10:53 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Sen. Teplitz: "Watchdog" Agencies Could Be "Neutered" By Corbett's Budget

A Dauphin County State Senator is worried the commonwealth's “watchdog” agencies won’t be able to perform their duties if Governor Tom Corbett’s new $28.5 billion budget passes.

The Governor has called for level funding for the Auditor General ($40,777,000) and Attorney General ($78,121,000), and a $16,607,000 (1.5 percent) cut to the Treasurer’s office. The State Ethics Commission would also see level funding, and The Office of Open Records would get a small spending increase.

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Developing
3:20 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Hearings Begin on PA's $28.48B Budget

Two weeks after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his $28.4 billion dollar budget proposal, state lawmakers are settling in for what could be a fight. Three weeks of House and Senate budget hearings began Tuesday in Harrisburg. 

Throughout the hearings, agency secretaries sit before the two chambers' appropriations committees to answer questions about their budgets.

Senator Jim Ferlo (D- Allegheny County) quickly set the tone for the hearings in his questioning of PA Budget Secretary Charles Zogby. 

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