Government

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Pennsylvania's general fund is on track to be $1.6 billion dollars underwater by the middle of next month. In the past, the state Treasury has extended lines of credit to help the state keep paying immediate expenses when funds bottom out. 

(WSKG) -- Retail and manufacturing jobs are on the decline--both in Pennsylvania, and around the country. So a state lawmaker is looking for ways to pinpoint exactly where those jobs are going--and how to stop the bleeding. 

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The Auditor General's office has released a report detailing how Pennsylvania's pension system for state employees can cut costs. The system, known as SERS, is grappling with roughly $20 billion in unfunded liabilities, and has been making concerted efforts to streamline spending.  

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House has no official plans to resume negotiations on balancing the state budget. In a rare update, Majority Leader Dave Reed said while members continue to discuss a proposal passed by the Senate last month, they're not ready to introduce a counter-offer of their own.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI

The U.S. Senate plans to use procedural maneuvers to technically stay in session even when senators eventually go home for the Labor Day recess. Their intent is to prevent President Donald Trump from making any unwelcome recess appointments while they are away.

There’s some good news and some bad news from the state comptroller’s office. The state’s nearly $200 billion pension fund is doing well, thanks in part to the booming stock market, but there are some worrisome signs for the future of New York’s finances.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the pension fund is up this quarter by 2.9 percent, and has increased 11.5 percent from last year. DiNapoli said he likes to think that he and his staff have invested wisely, but he said a major factor is the booming stock market.

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - One of the state's two largest pension funds has released its financial report for 2016. The State Employees Retirement System--or SERS--continued a longstanding pattern last year of coming up short of projected long-term earnings. 

JOHN FLANAGAN/WMHT

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement on Sunday saying that he had recently been treated for an alcohol problem. 

Google Images

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - August is "Child Support Awareness Month" in New York. Officials say child support is a vital source of income for hundreds of thousands of children and families, and it's especially critical for the poorest families. 

robotbrainz / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- State Treasurer Joe Torsella has extended a temporary, $750 million line of credit to keep Pennsylvania's general fund balance from running dry this month. He's calling the situation "extraordinary and without precedent."  

Tom Downing/WITF

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A month past the due date, negotiations on how to fund Pennsylvania's $32 billion spending plan are effectively stalled. 

AndrewRosenthal / Flickr

The New York Board of Elections quietly voted this week to turn over some data about New York’s voters to a Trump administration panel looking at whether there was mass voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

CREDIT FREEIMAGES.COM/NERIJUS J

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The revenue component of the state budget still isn't done, more than a month past its due date. But that doesn't mean Pennsylvania has stopped doing business. It's still spending and taking in money, and it's still releasing monthly reports on how state collections are stacking up against projections.  

David Wilson / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A fund transfer lawmakers are proposing to help balance the state budget is causing some legal headaches. The Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association--a group created in 1976 to insure healthcare providers--is saying the state is not authorized to take $200 million from its account.  

New York congressman's bill would limit SAFE Act

Aug 2, 2017

Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) is introducing a bill that aims to take down Gov. Andrew Cuomo's controversial gun control legislation, known as the SAFE Act.

Appearing Monday at a gun club south of Rochester where the congressman said he learned to shoot, Collins detailed his proposed Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA). It would roll back the restrictions put forth in New York State's SAFE Act for rifles and shotguns and eliminate the seven-round limit for magazines.

AP Photo

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - A portion of the state Senate's latest, tax-heavy plan to balance the commonwealth's budget is likely to prompt some legal entanglement.  

Upgrades Come To Some NY County Fairs

Jul 31, 2017
Shutterstock

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - County fair season kicked off this month with a number of fairs set to receive funds from the state to improve their infrastructure. The New York State Agricultural Fairgrounds Infrastructure Improvement Program was set up in 2016 to help local fairs offset the cost of agricultural improvement and renovation projects.

Maguis & David / flickr

Pennsylvania remains the only major gas-producing state in the country without a severance tax. This fact has been a major sticking point in Harrisburg– for a really long time. Now state lawmakers are once again looking to place new taxes on natural gas drillers.

PA House Members Prepare For Severance Tax Fight

Jul 31, 2017
Kevin McCorry, Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state Senate's revenue package includes a perennially-controversial severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling--just one surprise in a proposal that turned out to be brimming with unexpected, tax-related components. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed more details this week about how the newly named Mario Cuomo Bridge on the Thruway over the Hudson River will be financed.

We know that the former Tappan Zee Bridge will be replaced by the new Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge, in honor of the current governor’s late father. But we don’t know the final price tag of the project, which spans the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.

Maguis & David / flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state Senate has taken a step toward finishing Pennsylvania's unbalanced budget, which was supposed to be done nearly a month ago.

Following a ride malfunction that killed one person and injured several others at the Ohio State Fair this week, state officials want to assure fairgoers in New York that everything that’s possible is done to ensure that rides are safe.

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- In hopes of finally finishing the budget that was due at the end of June, the GOP-led state Senate is pushing a revenue package that departs significantly from previous tax-averse attempts. 

Video Of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Jul 26, 2017
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this morning about foreign agents and attempts to influence the U.S. election. The panel is among the bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Closing Online Sales Loopholes Could Net PA Revenue

Jul 26, 2017
401(K) 2012 / FLICKR

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The way people buy things--both in Pennsylvania, and around the country--is changing. Online shopping is on the rise, and sales in physical stores have correspondingly declined. But what hasn't changed much in Pennsylvania is how it taxes sales. And that's losing the commonwealth money.  

Kevin McCorry, Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG  (WSKG) -- State Senators are scheduled to return to session Wednesday for a two-day stint, in an effort to iron out differences in a budget that's nearly a month overdue. The chamber plans to pick up where it left negotiations two weeks ago, and appears to be largely disregarding last week's House session. 

What Happens If PA Doesn't Balance Its Books?

Jul 25, 2017
MATT ROURKE / AP PHOTO

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Pennsylvania's one of only four states that still hasn't passed a budget for the fiscal year that ended in June.

Weekend Pennsylvania State Budget Talks Yield Little

Jul 24, 2017
MATT ROURKE / AP PHOTO

HARRISBURG (KEYSTONE CROSSROADS) -- Members of the state House convened this weekend to try to agree on how to pay for this year's budget. But the special session was short-lived. 

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