The smart money in the state Capitol is on lawmakers not completing a Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget by the time midnight on June 30 (Friday) rolls around this week. As of the end of last week, no one had yet seen a budget plan from Senate Republicans, who while they don t seem to be too far apart with House Republicans on how much to spend in FY2017-18 (around $31.8 billion), there still appear to be some differences of opinion regarding on what that $31.8 billion will be spent (and whether some of it will be in or taken out of the General Fund budget) and how to pay for all that spending (including some questionable monetization of asset proposals that amount to using one credit card to pay off another credit card something that credit rating agencies simply love to see from states). House Republicans maintain until they see some details from the other chamber, as well as the governor, regarding proposals to address as much as a $3 billion deficit, they re sticking with the plan they passed in April one that includes gambling expansion (including controversial video gaming terminals), additional liquor privatization, fund transfers and some tax credit reductions. It should be an interesting week (and maybe weekend).
Citizens Voice by THE EDITORIAL BOARD / PUBLISHED: JUNE 27, 2017
The Republican repeal bills in the House and Senate both include multi-billion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and deep health benefit cuts for the poorest Americans.
The House bill would cut taxes by $756 billion over a decade, and most of those gains would go to the richest Americans, independent analyses suggest. (We’re still waiting on a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate bill, which is expected to be released this afternoon). The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the 400 top income households alone would receive $33 billion in tax cuts between 2019 and 2028. This is equivalent to the amount that the federal government spends on Medicaid expansion in four states: Alaska, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Nevada. The Medicaid expansion there covers an estimated 725,800 enrollees. It’s hard to wrap your head around that disparity: 400 families gaining a tax cut that is offset by ending a program that covers three-quarters of a million of low-income Americans. Our graphics editor Javier Zarracina and I decided to show how those two groups compare visually. Start scrolling to see how many people win in this trade-off, and how many people lose.
WITF Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jun 26, 2017 10:09 PM
(Harrisburg) -- The state Senate is considering a plan to allow teachers and other school employees with permits to carry guns at work. Supporters say it's about keeping kids safe, while opponents are worried the measure would do just the opposite. Senate Bill 383 is sponsored by GOP Senator Donald White of Armstrong County, who said it would give schools more options in protecting students. He added, it could be particularly helpful for rural districts that are far from police stations and might not employ their own security guard. "This is just one more tool to help them--if they see fit--to protect their families," he said. But the measure has received considerable backlash from gun control and teachers' groups. Many--like Shira Goodman, with CeaseFire PA--say arming school employees would be an unnecessary liability. "If you can't afford a school armed security guard, how are you going to afford the insurance to have armed teachers?" she asked. "It doesn't make any sense.' "If we want to spend money on these kinds of things, that's what we should be giving money on," she added. "Security assessments, better communication with police, and maybe more money for security guards and school resource officers."
Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6th Dist., is co-chairman of the Congressional 21st Century Skills Caucus and a member of the Congressional CTE Caucus.
Lisa A. Myers, CPA, president of the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs
Thomas Murray, Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education
Kristen Swanson, Director of Learning at Slack and one of the founding members of the Edcamp movement
*Leadership for Learning
*Professional and Community Leadership