pa government

Katie Meyer / AP

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- As state lawmakers fight over the details of a long-overdue budget funding plan, the commonwealth is having trouble covering short-term costs. 

After temporarily delaying several payments, the Wolf administration says it can meet expenses for the rest of this month.

But after that, things may get tricky.

Through October 2, the state owes more than $700 million for various major obligations--including school costs, state employee salaries, and county assistance--plus at least tens of millions more for smaller ones.

Pennsylvania Receives Long-Awaited Credit Downgrade

Sep 21, 2017
Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - After months of warnings, S&P Global Ratings has downgraded Pennsylvania's credit, citing concerns over its chronically unbalanced budget. 

PA Senate Hits Restart On Budget Negotiations

Sep 21, 2017
MATT ROURKE / AP PHOTO

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - The GOP-controlled state Senate has formally rejected a conservative budget plan passed by the House--essentially resetting negotiations nearly three months past the deadline. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - The state Auditor General's office has released a report showing a provider of abortion-alternative services has misused taxpayer dollars. That includes using some of its grant money for out-of-state promotions. 

PA Senate Won't Concur On Conservative House Plan

Sep 20, 2017
AviatorDave / flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Senators are trying to figure out how to move forward on the stalled state budget. They're planning to formally vote against a conservative House funding plan Wednesday in hopes of kick-starting an expedited process known as a conference committee. 

Kevin McCorry, Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - The state Senate is back in session, and is gearing up to respond to a budget package the House passed last week. Senate leaders aren't revealing much about their plans--though they indicate they have fundamental disagreements with House leaders.  

David Wilson / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The commonwealth is putting off paying over a billion dollars to insurers who administer Medicaid benefits, because its main bank account is almost out of money. It will be at least a week before the state can afford to pay, and the delay will probably mean the insurers will charge interest.  

PA House Narrowly Passes Budget Funding Plan

Sep 14, 2017
Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House of Representatives has narrowly voted to move a budget plan built largely on one-time fund transfers. Although it represents the first action on the overdue budget in well over a month, it's unclear how much it'll move the needle toward a resolution. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House is still working on a plan to fill a $2.2 billion dollar gap in a budget that is almost three months late. But negotiations took an unexpected turn Tuesday when the chamber adjourned suddenly without holding an expected vote on a plan from a conservative faction of members. 

PA Rally Tries To Prompt Action On Gerrymandering

Sep 13, 2017
Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Advocates for overhauling the redistricting process packed the Capitol rotunda Tuesday hoping to persuade lawmakers to take their quest seriously. Pennsylvania's congressional districts are considered among the most unfair in the country. 

(KEYSTONE CROSSROADS) - The Pennsylvania Economy League released a report on Tuesday showing predictions in its last study have borne out. That's not a good thing. 

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- After weeks of deserted Capitol hallways and quiet meetings between House members, the chamber is officially back in session--well over a month after the Senate passed a bipartisan revenue plan to balance the budget. 

Maguis & David / flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Heated speeches could be heard from the House GOP's closed caucus room Monday night, as a conservative faction attempted--for several hours--to rally support for a budget funding plan that wouldn't raise taxes. 

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Agencies are raising alarms over a GOP-backed House plan to redirect billions of dollars to fill gaps in the state's badly unbalanced budget.  The proposal comes from a conservative faction of the House.

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

(Harrisburg) - Pennsylvania is in its third month with no balanced budget. Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Democrats and Republicans, and House Democrats are pushing House Republicans to agree to a compromise plan that would raise some taxes and borrow money to fill a $2.2 billion shortfall. 

PA Applies For Another REAL ID Extension

Sep 7, 2017

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania is hoping for another extension from the federal government regarding the enforcement of REAL ID. State lawmakers passed a law earlier this year to allow Pennsylvania to comply with the decade-old federal REAL ID law, which requires a higher level of security on identification cards used to access federal facilities and board commercial flights. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A group of House Republicans has unveiled a plan to balance the more than $2 billion budget deficit by, primarily, raiding dozens of state funds. Eighteen rank and file House Republicans said they spent most of the summer working on the plan, which they named "The Taxpayers' Budget." 

Implementing REAL ID Could Cost PA $30 million

Sep 5, 2017

Pennsylvania is finally taking steps to implement REAL ID in the commonwealth, 12 years after the federal law governing secure identification cards was passed PennDOT recently sent a report to the state legislature estimating the initial cost to start issuing REAL ID cards to be between $24-30 million. That includes IT systems, equipment, and new facilities. 

Katie Meyer / WITF

(Harrisburg) - A new law going into effect Friday aims to cut down on drunk driving.

It requires first-time offenders to have breathalyzers installed in their cars--something 48 other states already do.

Car breathalyzers--officially called Ignition Interlock Systems--require drivers to blow into a device to start their vehicle. If the device detects any alcohol, the car won't start, and it'll also register the attempt.

Associated Press

(WITF) With talk swirling of possible spending freezes over the unbalanced state budget, counties are trying to figure out how they may be impacted.

Katie Meyer / WITF

 

A Pennsylvania state Senate proposal that would essentially charge protesters for being arrested is causing some backlash at the Capitol. 

Katie Meyer / WSKG

 

(Harrisburg) If Pennsylvania's $2.2 billion budget gap isn't filled soon, Governor Tom Wolf is indicating the commonwealth could be heading for major spending freezes. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.  

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.  

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