pa government

PA Legislature Still Stuck On Spending Bill

Jul 6, 2016
(AP Photo/Marc Levy)

After a day of closed-door negotiations, party leaders seem no closer to a state budget agreement than they were when they left the Capitol last Friday.

PA Nonprofits Wary Of Another Budget Stalemate

Jul 6, 2016
Ben Allen, WITF

A new week has started, and state lawmakers have reported little progress on the commonwealth's now-overdue budget. For some nonprofits, the current situation is bringing up bad memories from last year's nine-month impasse.

In this year's budget negotiations, state legislators seem eager to show their constituents that last year's nine-month deadlock is well behind them. After receiving the House's nearly 31-point-six billion dollar spending plan Wednesday, the Senate quickly passed its general appropriations in a bipartisan vote, just a day before the Thursday deadline.

Proposed PA Budget Finds Opponent In Police Union

Jun 30, 2016

The Pennsylvania legislature's proposed budget plan isn't done yet, but it is already drawing the ire of the union representing state troopers. The nearly 36 billion dollar spending plan allocates funding for recruitment and training of three police cadet classes, which would likely yield 180 new troopers.

PA House Bans Private Surveillance Drones

Jun 29, 2016
Ben Allen

The Pennsylvania House is voting to criminalize the use of drones to put people under surveillance in private places. State representatives voted unanimously Tuesday for the bill, which calls for up to three months in jail and a $300 fine for first offenders. The bill bans surveillance while trespassing in a private place and is aimed largely at unmanned aircraft.

Katie Meyer

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has passed an amendment to weaken a bill that aims to make it easier for victims of childhood sex abuse to file charges against their attackers.

Katie Meyer

After a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania state budget is one step closer to completion, just before its Thursday deadline.

PA House Panel Passes $31.6B Budget Plan

Jun 28, 2016
Maguis & David / flickr

The state legislature has taken an unexpected first step toward passing this year's budget, with a House committee approving a $31.6 billion spending plan last night.

robotbrainz / Flickr

After a nine-month-long standoff over last year’s state budget, Pennsylvania lawmakers seem committed to getting a verdict out quickly this year. But there is still little information from the Capitol on what exactly the budget contains, and advocates from across the commonwealth are concerned the speed will come at the expense of quality.

Maguis & David / flickr


The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee passed a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of housing and employment at a meeting on Wednesday. 

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

 Planning is underway to move the state's extensive archives - just days after the state announced its building a new facility in Harrisburg. The state says the $24 million facility will help meet the needs of a digital world.

PA Auditor Warns Of Costs Of Stalemate

Apr 29, 2016
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The state's top fiscal watchdog says another budget impasse would lead to a "backdoor tax increase" in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania's AG Race, Experience Is Everything

Apr 20, 2016
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision not to run for a second four-year term as she faces a criminal trial this summer left a field of five candidates jockeying for her job. At a recent forum, one candidate in particular came loaded for bear.

Jennifer Szweda Jordan / The Allegheny Front

Pennsylvania's protracted budget negotiation ended nearly a month ago, but the fight continues over how $150 million in new education spending will be divided amongst the state's 500 school districts.

PA House OKs Retroactive Limits In Abuse Cases

Apr 12, 2016
Maguis & David / flickr

A long-sought measure to retroactively change the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases has been queued up for a final vote in the state House. / Flickr


Pennsylvania House Democrats are finding themselves in a family spat with Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, whom they’re accusing of rewriting the rules of political engagement. 

Marie Cusick / WITF


Two executive orders signed by Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression among state agencies and all state contractors. 

PA Budget Impasse Ends With A Whimper

Mar 23, 2016
governortomwolf / Flickr


Nearly nine months into the fiscal year, Pennsylvania’s budget impasse will end – or nearly end -- this week. 

PA Democrats Ask Wolf To Shelve Veto Pen For A Day

Mar 22, 2016
Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

With schools and agricultural programs threatening to close due to the state's budget impasse, top legislative Democrats urged Governor Tom Wolf to hold off on a full veto, at least for a day, after the governor had promised to reject the Republican budget handiwork sent to his desk last week.

Pennsylvania's Governor: "I Will Veto This Budget"

Mar 17, 2016
Widener University / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf plans to veto a Republican-crafted measure that aimed to end the months-long state budget crisis.

Associated Press

Proceedings took an unexpected turn at a hearing for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin Thursday.

Maguis & David / Flickr

The state House has scaled back a measure that aims to redefine how law enforcement could use DNA samples in Pennsylvania.

 This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced a plan to dramatically increase education funding. But heading into 2016-2017 budget negotiations with the current budget still unfinished has created a funding landscape that is "perplexing" and "convoluted" for public schools, say superintendents around the commonwealth.

Ben Allen / WITF

Governor Tom Wolf is calling for a more than $2 billion increase in state spending and a tax hike to pay for the new programs. One state agency gets a particularly big boost in the governor's budget proposal: the state Department of Human Services. DHS is responsible for Medicaid, programs for people with intellectual disabilities, and child care and child welfare services.

Fund Fight: Transportation Vs. Troopers

Feb 5, 2016
Maguis & David / Flickr

Two years after state lawmakers voted to hike driver fees and let the gas tax increase to pay for roads and bridges, they're facing a shortfall in available money for construction projects. Trade groups say the top culprit is the diversion of dedicated transportation funds into the Pennsylvania State Police budget.

PA Budget Saga: Seven Months In And Feeling Fine

Feb 4, 2016
kylesteed / Flickr

Pennsylvanians may be fed up with the state budget impasse, but the people sitting at the negotiating table aren’t betraying any such disgust. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is set to give his budget proposal next week for the upcoming fiscal year – even as the current year’s spending is the subject of tense talks with the GOP-led Legislature.

governortomwolf / Flickr

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

Around the same time, more than two weeks ago, that the commander of Pennsylvania’s military forces was abruptly placed on paid leave without explanation, multiple state legislators received an anonymous letter requesting an investigation into him for alleged sexual harassment.

Poll Shows Steady Disdain For PA Government

Jan 28, 2016
governortomwolf / Flickr

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.

Maguis & David / flickr

Each year, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania holds a press conference at the capitol to announce their agenda for the year. With most of Harrisburg still under snow by Monday morning, this year's press conference was downgraded to a press release. But the group says they are fully committed to these five issues that affect all 67 counties in the state.