WITF Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 23, 2016 7:50 PM
(Harrisburg) -- The state budget deadline is creeping closer. But this time, Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders are optimistic their work will be done close to on time. First, both sides point to compromises. Wolf's office says he's holding off on broad-based sales and income tax increases, has reduced his spending request by well over $1 billion, and agreed to pension and liquor changes. GOP House Majority Leader Dave Reed says those changes were compromises from other pieces he wanted, and his caucus is supporting a boost in education funding. He says negotiators are closer on a final spending number. "You know, I think it's not just us and the governor, it's all five parties. I think we're within hundreds of millions of dollars of each other, and if you look at it where we were last year at this time, we were billions of dollars apart," says Reed.
If you are a regular reader of this space (and we know many of you read it with a Zapruder-like attention to detail), then you are no doubt familiar with our famed Pizza Rule of Budgeting. That's the one where we ask you to return to your misspent youth and those days where you'd upend the couch cushions, break open the piggybank, sell some old CDs and even contemplate parting with your own plasma to afford the two large pies and six-pack of Special Adult Beverage on a Friday night. Well, now that Gov. Tom Wolf says the 2016-17 budget can be balanced without a sales or personal income tax hike, state lawmakers are getting all kinds of creative when it comes to balancing the books in time for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. Thus do we bring you a report by our friends at The Associated Press (via The Tribune-Review), in which we learn the state Senate is considering whether to reinstate a gross receipts tax on natural gas sales.
PoliticsPA Written by Jason Addy, Contributing Writer June 23, 2016
Having only passed the 2015-16 budget in the last week of March - nine months after the June 30th deadline – Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers now seem optimistic they can pass the 2016-17 on time, or at least before too long. On Wednesday, Wolf made it clear that he has been willing to bend on key issues for legislative Republicans, but now he wants some new funding in return. “Four months after his budget address, and after talking with Republicans and Democrats about how to achieve a responsible budget, Gov. Wolf has compromised on issues ranging from taxes to liquor reform, while making it clear that we need to invest in education, fight the opioid crisis and truly balance the budget with sustainable revenue,” Wolf’s press secretary Jeff Sheridan said in a press release.
Post Gazette By Margaret Smykla June 23, 2016 11:32 AM
Post Gazette By Deana Carpenter June 24, 2016 12:00 AM