pa government

Furloughed PA Employees Returning To State Jobs

May 17, 2017
Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The first wave of employees has been called back to work in the state's unemployment compensation call centers, with more follow next week.  

robotbrainz / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Legislation to combine the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections with the Board of Probation and Parole has begun moving through the state Senate.

MARIE CUSICK/ STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

A state Senate panel has unanimously approved Governor Tom Wolf’s choice to lead the state Department of Environmental Protection. Patrick McDonnell has already been on the job for nearly a year, as DEP’s Acting Secretary. He was appointed after the abrupt departure of his predecessor, John Quigley, who was ensnared in controversy over an angry email he sent to some environmental groups. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Around the state, advocates and frustrated Pennsylvanians are pushing lawmakers to change the rules governing how district lines are redrawn every ten years. The current process lets politicians the skew districts in their political favor--a process known as gerrymandering.

Maguis & David / flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A state senate committee has advanced a bill that would somewhat impede the governor from enacting "economically significant" resolutions. It defines an "economically significant" resolution as one that would earn or cost more than a million state dollars. 

Report Shows PA Revenues Down Across The Board

May 3, 2017
Lindsey Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The latest financial reports for the commonwealth don't contain much good news. With two months remaining in the fiscal year, the Department of Revenue is reporting a shortfall that has ballooned to more than a billion dollars--the worst budget gap since 2010.  

WITF Radio

The head of Pennsylvania's National Guard and veterans affairs programs has sent a letter to state House lawmakers...warning them the Republican-backed budget proposal would result in "critical failure." The House GOP spending plan cuts an additional seven percent from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, on top of cuts negotiated with Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. 

Funding Cuts For Planned Parenthood Pass PA Senate

Apr 27, 2017
Paul Sableman/Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A bill that could potentially eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania has passed a state Senate committee. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The office of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has finished a long-awaited report on state spending in the unemployment compensation system. It began in January after the Senate decided not to extend a dedicated funding stream for the system over suspicion of mismanagement. The move prompted nearly 500 layoffs. 

Thomas Hawk / Flickr / bit.ly/1LQRp93

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House has voted to advance a group of four very different proposals to loosen restrictions on liquor sales in Pennsylvania. Liquor expansion is being counted on as a necessary component of the House GOP's proposed budget for next year. 

Maguis & David / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- With the July budget deadline beginning to creep up, the state legislature is entering its busy season. Several component parts of what will eventually be next year's fiscal plan are under construction, and sticking points are already surfacing--even within the House and Senate's Republican majorities. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- State House Republicans are attempting to chart a new course for liquor sales in Pennsylvania, pushing a traditionally state-run system further and further toward privatization. 

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Several House committees held the latest in a string of hearings Monday about Governor Tom Wolf's plan to consolidate four state agencies. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack has found himself under investigation by the state Inspector General's office, after allegations he and his wife, Tonya, mistreated their staff and police detail. 

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state legislature may be away for the week, but that hasn't kept the Capitol free of controversy. Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack is currently under investigation for mistreating his staff and security detail.

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The House GOP-led budget proposal--which passed on to the Senate last week--has drawn criticism from legislative Democrats, and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf for its austere tax cuts. 

AP Photo/Chris Knight

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- State lawmakers are making progress on next year's budget, with about three months to go before their deadline. But it's still a legislature prone to deadlock, so state Treasurer Joe Torsella is making preparations for a potential impasse. 

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The commonwealth's Independent Fiscal Office has released a study on whether Governor Tom Wolf's proposed revenues for next year's budget are realistic.

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The centerpiece of Governor Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget proposal is an ambitious plan to consolidate four major state agencies: the departments of Human Services, Health, Aging, and Drugs and Alcohol. 

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The state House has passed a Republican budget proposal that includes no new taxes and makes deep, across-the-board cuts to Governor Tom Wolf's spending plan. The bill was only introduced two days ago and has been fast-tracked despite near-unanimous Democratic opposition. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- A substantial part of the state legislature wants to reinstate laws that let prosecutors push for harsh, mandatory minimum prison sentences in certain crimes. But others--including the Governor Tom Wolf and his head of corrections--oppose such a move because they say it won't actually cut down on crime. 

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- In an unexpected move, House Republicans have introduced their own budget bill for the upcoming fiscal year. The $31.5 billion plan slashes about $800 million off the already-lean proposal Governor Tom Wolf pitched in February. It also gets rid of the billion dollars in new tax revenue Wolf used to balance his budget.

Tim Lambert/WITF

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- For months, funding for Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation program has been one of the most contentious issues in Harrisburg. A bill moving through the legislature is now offering a potential compromise, but many--including the governor--have said it's not enough. 

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- School property taxes are a perennial issue in Harrisburg. And while attempts to curtail or get rid of them entirely routinely fizzle out, a bill making modest changes is moving through the Senate. 

Lindsey Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- The Wolf administration is gearing up to launch one of the most ambitious parts of its proposed 2017-18 budget--consolidating four of the state's biggest health agencies.

Anti-Abortion Contractor Sues PA's Auditor General

Mar 17, 2017
Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is, for the first time in his tenure, on the receiving end of a lawsuit from an organization he was investigating. 

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- For years, the commonwealth has been purposely violating federal ID standards known as Real ID, which date back to 2005. But now, under threats from the federal government that Pennsylvanians will have to use passports to board domestic flights starting in 2018, lawmakers are advancing legislation to get in compliance.

401(k)2013 / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- As in many states, revenues have been weak in Pennsylvania this fiscal year. In a budget hearing before the Senate, Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty told the chamber that corporate income revenues have been particularly bad. They fell by almost 10 percent from last year.  

Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Three days after a ransomware attack took the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats' computers hostage, the caucus still can't access its system or documents. Even without a computer, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa put a positive spin on the situation.  

Thomas Hawk / Flickr / bit.ly/1LQRp93

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - Pennsylvania has long been notorious for its state-run liquor stores and old-fashioned restrictions on selling alcoholic beverages. But last year, the legislature passed its first meaningful liquor reform in decades. 

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