Tom Wolf

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

  Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday laid out a new spending plan for lawmakers — even as they keep fighting over billions in the current budget.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to the Capitol with growing questions over the state government's increasingly confusing budget situation.

www.governor.pa.gov

Pennsylvania recently became the first state to launch a federal campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses.

The national initiative was announced in 2014 by President Barack Obama with the goal of building a movement to address, respond to and ultimately prevent sexual violence. A local "On Us PA" launched in late January.

Governor Wolf Previews 2016-17 Budget Address Despite Impasse

Feb 5, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP Images

With his 2016-2017 budget address due on February 9th, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf joins us to talk about some of what he's planning to propose including more funding for education. But does it make sense for Governor Wolf to give a budget address without having one now? And can revenue come from somewhere other than taxes which Republican legislators are opposed to raising

Governor Tom Wolf is expected to sign legislation to allow people with low-level criminal convictions to have their records sealed from public view.

The plan, approved nearly unanimously by the Legislature, would let people petition the court to wipe minor, nonviolent crimes from their public criminal records. Charges like vandalism and trespassing could be erased from view of potential employers, landlords, and lenders, removing the handcuffs people live with long after they’ve served their time or paid the fines for low-level criminal convictions.

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The holidays didn’t do much to ease Pennsylvania angst about state government, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College survey, showing most respondents take a dim view of the state’s future.

The poll found that 67 percent of registered voters surveyed said Pennsylvania is headed “off on the wrong track” – a record figure in the past five years of polling.

And 38 percent said the state’s “most important problem” is government and politicians.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Pennsylvania's governor is giving candidates in three special elections for the state House of Representatives a little more time to qualify for the March 15 ballot.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday said the deadlines for parties to file nomination certificates and for political bodies to file nomination papers will be extended by 24 hours for each day election offices in the state Capitol Complex are closed.

The deadline won't be extended past 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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It is no consolation to Steve Gildea that he is part of a growing club.

The CEO of Tyrone Hospital in Blair County is just one of many people forced to deal with funding losses due to the state budget mess in Harrisburg.

“We are going to probably have to curtail some of the programs that we provide and some of the hours that people are working,” said Gildea. “I think that’s a given.”

Governor Tom Wolf vetoed supplemental Medicaid payments for the state’s 14 rural hospitals, six burn units, and dozens of urban and rural childbirth centers in late December.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

As parts of the East Coast brace for the weekend snowstorm and possibly feet of snow, Pittsburgh is only expected to see about 4 inches in the next 24 hours. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Alan Benyak has some advice for anyone who hasn’t shared his experience of spending a week as a political football.

“I actually would tell anybody,” said Benyak, “that if someone asks you to volunteer for some governor’s ad, not to do it.”

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

As Pittsburgh continues to wait and see how bad the expected weekend storm will be, Gov. Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency for Pennsylvania.

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The Wolf administration says the state’s food stamps program is making fewer mistakes, marking its lowest error rate in 29 years of keeping records.

“We’re not giving anything to the wrong people and we’re doing this the right way,” said Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday. The lower error rate is estimated to save as much as $35 million in federal money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Tuesday he hopes newly released standards will help lower ethane emissions in the state.

The greenhouse gas can leak or be released into the atmosphere during natural gas production, transportation and processing. 

No Budget Deal In Sight As Pennsylvania Senate Reconvenes

Jan 19, 2016
Elizabeth Thomsen / via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Pennsylvania Senate is returning to its first voting session of 2016, as Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers give no signs of resolving a 7-month-old budget fight that's left billions in school aid in limbo.

Tuesday's session is three weeks before Wolf is scheduled to deliver his second budget proposal to the Legislature, that one for the fiscal year that begins next July 1.

Wolf Still Hopes For Budget Deal As Next Proposal Nears

Jan 14, 2016
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he's hoping to finish a budget deal for the half-finished fiscal year before he delivers a spending proposal for the year starting next July 1.

Ken Marshall / Flickr

State lawmakers are bracing for a dizzying prospect: planning the next fiscal year’s spending before the current year’s budget has been finalized.

Dates are set for Governor Tom Wolf’s February budget address and the legislative hearings that follow.

“I will say it will be a little bit different if we don’t have a budget concluded,” said Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed.

Matt Rourke / AP

The warm, fuzzy feelings didn’t last long.

As the state expedited billions of dollars in overdue payments to schools, counties, and social services, charter schools condemned the Wolf administration’s decision to reroute some of their money in the absence of a Legislature-approved funding formula.

When lawmakers passed a budget right before the New Year, they neglected to approve other related items that act as a roadmap for spending decisions. A “school code” bill setting an education funding formula never passed.

Ken Marshall / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Treasury announced Monday the distribution of $3.3 billion in emergency payments to school districts, counties and human services organizations. Gov. Tom Wolf released the funds last week, while vetoing parts of a budget proposal left to him before Christmas.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf looked determined to start the New Year off on the right foot.  

His first Monday of 2016 was packed with public events – the inauguration of Philadelphia’s new mayor, followed by two business tours nearby.    

But Wolf couldn’t outrun the unfinished business of yesteryear.  

After touring a cold storage and processing facility in Chester County, he was peppered with questions about the state budget.  

“Yeah, we need one,” Wolf said in response. “We still need one.”

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says he is rejecting parts of a $30.3 billion state budget plan that's already a record six months overdue, but he's freeing up over $23 billion in emergency funding.

David Amsler / Flickr

 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn't saying whether he'll sign a budget bill sent to him by the Senate in a last-ditch bid to break a six-month stalemate before Christmas and get money flowing to schools and social service agencies.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

There are signs of a potential breakthrough in Pennsylvania's budget stalemate just three days before Christmas.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Governor Tom Wolf warned House Republicans on Monday not to bother with a short-term budget, saying such a measure would receive his veto.  

The House GOP is charging ahead anyway, positioning an 11-month interim budget for a final vote this week before the Christmas holiday.  

The Senate is signaling it won’t approve the plan, and Governor Wolf removed any shadow of a doubt about his intentions when he wrote to House members and told them a partial budget plan would be swiftly rejected if it landed on his desk.  

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The governor’s office says it has the votes in the state House to pass a tax package that could be the key to ending the state’s five-and-a-half-month budget impasse.

“We are confident that we have the votes to pass a final budget,” said spokesman Jeff Sheridan, “and we are hopeful that this is over soon.”

The announcement signals a major development for budget talks in the Republican-controlled House, where anti-tax sentiment threatened to take negotiations back to square one earlier this month.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf and conservative House Republicans are clashing over a state budget now five and a half months late.

The House’s speaker, Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) is demanding changes to a budget proposal passed by the Senate a week ago. His caucus says the $30.8 billion plan spends far too much money.

But Wolf said he won’t stray from the Senate’s proposal, the result of a tentative deal reached before Thanksgiving.

“It’s time to stop negotiating,” Wolf said. “Let’s get a budget. I want a budget.”

The state budget impasse is giving lawmakers a reason to rescind their RSVPs to the annual out-of-state political bash this weekend known as PA Society.

The days-long string of parties and receptions held every December at Waldorf Astoria, a luxury hotel in Manhattan, takes its name from the Pennsylvania Society dinner held in New York every year since 1899. The constellation of events around the Saturday banquet gives political heavies time to mix and mingle with business executives, lobbyists, campaign masterminds and potential donors.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Environmentalist groups are protesting provisions advancing through the Pennsylvania Legislature as part of budget-related bill.

More than a half-dozen organizations signed a  statement on Thursday as senators overwhelmingly approved the 76-page bill Thursday, barely 24 hours after it became public.

House GOP Tries Again To Resolve Standoff With Own Budget

Dec 8, 2015
David Amsler / Flickr

 

Pennsylvania House Republicans tried again to solve the state's 5-month-old budget stalemate with a spending plan of their own on Tuesday, a day after a bipartisan Senate vote that approved a rival approach supported by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Marc Levy / AP

Governor Tom Wolf said Wednesday that if the state Senate votes to expel state Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office, he’ll have to “do their bidding.”  

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Rank-and-file state House lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week hoping for specifics of a budget deal.

They left Tuesday evening disappointed.

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