pa government

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. 


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.  

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. 

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.

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. 

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

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

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. 

Maguis & David / flickr

Pennsylvania's women legislators are more likely to work across party lines, get co-sponsors for bills, and get those measures signed into law, according to an analysis from the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University. Center director Dana Brown says the findings are in line with other research about women legislators at the national level. 

Kevin McCorry, Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - After an intense negotiating session, lawmakers have returned to their districts without balancing the $32 billion budget that lapsed into law on Monday. All day Tuesday, House and Senate leaders were tight-lipped about their progress, saying only that negotiations were continuing.

Associated Press

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Governor Tom Wolf has allowed an incomplete state budget to become law without his signature after a marathon negotiating session yielded no agreements between his administration and GOP leaders. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Lawmakers say they probably won't get the budget done by Monday night, which means that an unbalanced spending plan will automatically become law unless Governor Tom Wolf vetoes all or part of it. 

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Slots revenues are down nearly across the board in Pennsylvania's casinos for the just-ended fiscal year. The dip comes as lawmakers work to make the commonwealth even more reliant on gambling revenues, proposing the legalization of internet gaming and, potentially, other platforms. 

AP Photo/Marc Levy

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - A state budget standoff has been going strong since lawmakers passed a spending plan Friday, but no revenue package to pay for it. As members return from their Independence Day recess, House and Senate Republican leaders don't appear much closer to a consensus. 

401(K) 2012 / FLICKR

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The last month of the fiscal year was a decent one for Pennsylvania, revenue-wise, with returns coming in slightly higher than expected. But it comes at the end of a year of unexpectedly dismal earnings. / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - State lawmakers haven't yet finished the state budget, which was due Friday. They have until midnight next Monday to pass one, otherwise the unbalanced spending plan lawmakers sent to Governor Tom Wolf's desk last week becomes law--with or without his signature.