The PLS Reporter July 6, 2016 (paywall)
The Capitol for the first Wednesday in July was left largely to tourists and legislative staffers as leadership continued working on gaining support for some sort of revenue agreement enough to fully fund the $31.6 billion budget passed by the General Assembly just under a week ago. In their quest to find what would amount to around $1.3 billion in funds to bridge a gap in next year’s anticipated revenues, negotiators on Wednesday still seemed to be getting closer to a final plan, but remained between $100 million and $300 million apart, according to those with knowledge of the ongoing discussions. While legislative leaders largely left Harrisburg Tuesday to continue discussions from the cover of their respective legislative districts with the insistence that talks remain positive and constructive, a new deadline of July 11—the final day for the governor’s action on the spending plan—has some questioning whether there is any reality behind the described forward momentum on attaining the supporting funds.
Read more from The PLS Reporter HERE.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The clock kept ticking toward decision day for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on budget legislation that lacks the money to finance it as negotiators stayed quiet Wednesday about their private discussions. The Capitol was empty, Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature wasn't in session again and few, if any, lawmakers were in the building. Wolf stayed out of sight, while his press secretary said there is still time and hope to reach an agreement with lawmakers on a revenue package that can fill a $1 billion-plus hole in the state's deficit-riddled budget plan. "I still think we have time to reach agreement and that is our hope," press secretary Jeff Sheridan said Wednesday. Under discussion are higher taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, a huge expansion of casino-style gambling, increasing taxes on banks and extending the state's 6 percent sales tax to digital downloads. Wednesday was the sixth day without state spending authorization in place for the 2016-17 fiscal year, and Wolf could be left with the decision to veto hundreds of millions of dollars in spending items before signing budget legislation.
We are under-caffeinated and seriously behind this morning, so we're going to dispense with the pleasantries and get right into it. With a new week well underway and no final state budget deal in sight, here's your clip-and-save guide to where things stand with the fiscal 2016-17 spending plan.
Citizens Voice BY ROBERT SWIFT, HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF JULY 6, 2016
Citizens Voice BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: JULY 6, 2016
As she heads into the general election campaign versus Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton might be expected to tack to the center as Democratic candidates typically do. But on Wednesday, the presumptive presidential nominee revamped her higher education affordability proposal in ways designed to tap into the liberal (and youthful) support of the opponent she vanquished in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders. Throughout the Democratic campaign, Clinton and Sanders clashed over their competing plans to bolster college going and remake higher education financing. Sanders proposed an aggressive push to make public college tuition free for all Americans, while Clinton focused -- in ways that many college officials and financial aid experts applauded -- on ensuring that more Americans could emerge from college without student debt. But in reframing her higher education plan on Wednesday, Clinton made two major adjustments, both of which put her squarely in Sanders territory, programmatically and rhetorically.
As all the interwebs now know, Hillary Clinton got herself booed at the NEA conference today by mentioning charter schools (she also drew jeers for GOP dumpster-fire/candidate Donald Trump). But in language mimicked by the many folks who read Politico, Politico said
The presidential hopeful won back the crowd by making a distinction between charter schools in general, and those schools run by for-profit companies. Clinton said people on the outside are pushing “for-profit charter schools on our kids.”