pa government

PA Senate Ponders Next Move In Budget Impasse

Jan 18, 2016
Kumar Appaiah / via flickr

With the state's budget partially struck down by Governor Tom Wolf, state senators aren't sure they need to complete unfinished budget business. Pennsylvania has half a state budget and a number of related pieces of legislation still up in the air.

Right-To-Know Revisions Await PA Lawmakers

Jan 15, 2016

Legislation is waiting in the wings to update the state’s Right-to-Know law, overhauled in 2008 to make government records more accessible.

The eight-year-old rewrite flung open the filing cabinets of state and local government and let the public in – to sometimes overwhelming effect. What’s the single largest category of people filing record requests?

A Hearing For Kane, Sans Kane

Jan 11, 2016
PA National Guard / Flickr

A state Senate panel plans to hold a hearing Tuesday in the course of its consideration of Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s removal.

It may be a short affair.

pennstatenews / Flickr

Lawmakers mull leaving Wolf’s deep cuts to budget. Pennsylvania’s partial budget straps state lawmakers with a big question: let funding cuts stand or restore slashed line items with the help of new revenues?

New Year, Same Budget Squabble In Pennsylvania

Jan 5, 2016
Maguis & David / Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf looked determined to start the New Year off on the right foot. His first Monday of 2016 was packed with public events – the inauguration of Philadelphia’s new mayor, followed by two business tours nearby. But Wolf couldn’t outrun the unfinished business of yesteryear.

Maguis & David / Flickr

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Despite criticism from Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania legislators won't be called into session before Monday.

governortomwolf / Flickr


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A decision could come as early as today from Governor Tom Wolf on whether he will put an end to the state's months-long budget stalemate. 

As House and Senate leaders move toward a state budget agreement in fits and starts, one piece of the compromise appears to have fallen by the wayside: changes to the state’s wine and spirits stores.

PA Budget Setback Leaves State In Limbo

Dec 20, 2015
Bohman / Flickr

Top state lawmakers are at a loss for a way to end Pennsylvania’s nearly six-month budget stalemate after a tentative agreement was blown to bits over the weekend. 

Pennsylvania Office of Auditor General

Auditors found social service agencies in six counties were unable to assist hundreds of people who needed help paying rent, utility bills or a security deposit during 2011 thorough 2013, despite nearly $1 million available to address those very issues, according to a report detailing an audit of the state Department of Community & Economic Development. 

Rift Deepens Between Pennsylvania House & Senate

Dec 8, 2015
Maguis & David / Flickr

Republicans in the Pennsylvania House and Senate remain at odds over how to resolve the state’s five-month-long budget impasse.

 The House on Tuesday passed a $30.3 billion spending plan vastly different from the $30.8 billion measure already approved by the Senate with the governor’s blessing.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is backpedaling remarks he made today about embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane, according to the Associated Press. Wolf has called for Kane’s resignation since August, when she was indicted on perjury and other criminal counts.

401(k)2013 / Flickr

Bucks County, one of the largest in the commonwealth, says it collects between $4 million and $5 million a month for the state. For now, it plans to hold on to most of that money.

Pennsylvania is entering its fifth month without a budget. The standoff is snarling payments to schools and nonprofits. At the dispute's center are a liberal governor and a conservative legislature.

401k / Flickr

Pennsylvania and Illinois are going on their fifth month without budgets Both states face still steeper borrowing costs after credit ratings downgrades last month that are merely the latest in a succession. And both have a relatively high number of local governments, counties and school districts - all municipal entities, each with borrowing power.

Every time Pennsylvania voters are asked to make their picks in a race for the Supreme Court, they have to indulge in a polite fiction – one that party leaders and candidates both seem to dislike.

Laura Benshoff / Keystone Crossroads

 Even if you're really good at budgeting, if your boss were four months late with your check you might have trouble paying your bills. With no state budget nearly four months into the new fiscal year, even the wealthiest counties in Pennsylvania are making cuts or draining their rainy day funds to pay their bills.

aidaneus / Flickr

Gil Penalosa evaluates intersections, neighborhoods, and whole cities by asking one question: can an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old go for a walk here and feel safe? If the answer is “no,” there’s work to do. Penalosa is the founder and chair of a Toronto-based non-profit called 8-80 Cities, which advocates for urban biking, walking, parks, trails, and public spaces. He sees the walkability of a city as intimately tied to public health, sustainability, economic development, quality of life, and just about every other measure of urban vitality.

David Wilson / Flickr

Across Pennsylvania, social services providers are searching for political leverage to end a budget impasse in which they are becoming the collateral damage.  Nonprofits in Berks County have floated the idea of inundating lawmakers' fax machines. A Pittsburgh foundation in August called for liquor stores to be shuttered until a state budget is approved.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Thursday a bill that could clear the way for more oil and gas companies to use treated mine water for fracking.

Wolf Tax Plan Voted Down By House

Oct 7, 2015
Mary Wilson

Governor Tom Wolf’s revised tax package failed a vote in the state House Wednesday, with nine members of his own party voting against it.

 A Republican state Senator is trying to nudge along legislation to legalize services like Uber and Lyft, and Senator Camera Bartolotta's bill is similar to one proposed by a Democrat.

courtesy of Gov. Tom Wolf / via Facebook

  An interim budget heads to the governor’s desk, after the Republican-controlled state House approved it. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has vowed to reject the package of bills, saying he wants a deal on a full year’s budget.

Advocates are pushing a state proposal to make the unpaid family members who look after their sick loved ones a more central part of patient care. The AARP was joined by a major hospital industry group on Tuesday at the Capitol for a rally in support of the state House measure which, among other things, mandates that caregivers receive thorough instruction from the hospital that is discharging their loved ones.

PA Senate Passes Stopgap Budget

Sep 18, 2015
pennstatenews / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed what looks to be a doomed interim state budget meant to get public money flowing again to schools, social services providers, and a variety of other projects.

Wolf: I Will Veto GOP's Stopgap Budget

Sep 17, 2015

  The tone of state budget talks hit a new low this week as the governor promised to veto a stopgap measure meant to get state funding flowing to entities facing their own fiscal cliff due to the months-long standoff over a state budget.

Should pornographic e-mails exchanged by state employees on state computers be released to the public? That was the question being hashed out in state court Wednesday.

Child Welfare Services Sue Over PA Budget Deadlock

Sep 16, 2015

A coalition of social services providers is suing Governor Tom Wolf's administration for leaving them high and dry during the state budget impasse.

PA House Group Readies Report On Medical Marijuana

Sep 15, 2015
Spiritual Enlightenment / Flickr

A group of Pennsylvania House lawmakers tasked with finding a way “get to yes” on medical marijuana legalization is winding down its work. A spokeswoman for Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said recommendations would be delivered to GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed in the next few weeks.

GOP Readies Stopgap Budget, But Details Scarce

Sep 11, 2015
Maguis & David / flickr

Republican state lawmakers could put Democratic Governor Tom Wolf in a tricky spot with their next budgetary maneuver: they say they’ll be back in session this month to approve a temporary spending plan.