Pages Menu
717-232-5322 • 200 North Third Street, Suite 1500 • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

2017 Fall Session Schedules Announced

The 2017 Fall Session Schedules for the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives are now available. 2017 SENATE FALL SESSION SCHEDULE September 18, 19, 20 October 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 November 13, 14, 15 December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 2017 HOUSE FALL SESSION SCHEDULE September 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27 October 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19,...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

Highlights of Pennsylvania Senate’s $2.2B revenue package

Highlights of Pennsylvania Senate’s $2.2B revenue package The Pennsylvania Senate passed a revenue package Thursday to patch a $2.2 billion hole in the state’s $32 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. Some highlights: NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION The state would raise an estimated $100 million a year by imposing a new tax on natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale, the nation’s largest natural gas field. The effective tax rate for 2017-18 would be 2 cents per thousand cubic feet, although the annual tax rate may range from 1.5 cents to 3.5 cents. That would raise significantly less money than what Wolf had originally sought. In February, he proposed a 6.5 percent tax on the value of the production. In 2015, he had proposed a 5 percent production tax, plus 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet. Money from the new severance tax would ensure that proceeds from an existing impact fee imposed on Marcellus Shale wells do not fall below $200 million a year. BORROWING The...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

Senate Approves Revenue Package; Ball Now In House’s Court

Pennsylvania’s new fiscal year started July 1. Although Governor Tom Wolf let a nearly $32 billion budget bill become law without his signature, there is still much work to do. With the spending plan enacted, lawmakers must come up with $2-plus billion to balance the books and work on legislation necessary to enact the budget (i.e. the Code bills that direct how the dollars are spent). Also held up in the Legislature are measures to provide state funding to Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Lincoln and Penn. Budget talks have been intense. New revenue options and how much in new, repeating revenues (i.e. taxes) has been a major sticking point. The state Senate approved a $1.796 billion tax package touted as a step towards fiscal responsibility. That Tax Code package imposes a tax on drilling for natural gas, and would raise or impose new taxes on consumers’ telephone, electric, and gas bills. It also imposes a new tax on consumer fireworks and extends the state’s 6 percent sales tax to...

Read More

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

On-Time Spending Plan Sent to Governor’s Desk

The nearly $32 billion bipartisan spending plan (HB 218) for Pennsylvania’s 2017-2018 fiscal year is heading to Governor Wolf’s desk.   By a vote of 173-27, the state House approved the measure. Earlier in the day the bill was approved by the state Senate, 43-7. Once the budget bill is on the governor’s desk, he has a 10-day window period to take action. With the spending plan approved, lawmakers must now come up with $2-plus billion to balance the books and work on legislation necessary to enact the budget (i.e. the Code bills that direct how the dollars are spent). Revenue options being floated include borrowing against future payments from the multi-state tobacco settlement to cover the current year’s deficit, using the state’s public sector pension funds to take out what is essentially considered an advance loan against the state’s 2017-18 payments into the funds, and gaming expansion. The state’s new fiscal year begins July 1. 15 highlights of what’s in the $32 billion agreed-to state budget plan Updated June...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

Governor Signs Historic Pension Overhaul

Governor Tom Wolf has signed into law Senate Bill 1 (pension reform). The measure would only apply to state and school district employees hired after January 2019. Current retirees and workers in the pension system would not be affected. Those hired after 2019 would basically have three retirement options. The first two are hybrid plans; that is, half defined benefit and half defined contribution. The third option would be all defined contribution, or a 401(k)-style plan. All three options are intended to reduce the future burden on future taxpayers. Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement, including Capitol police, would be exempt from the new plan and would be placed in the current retirement system. Future lawmakers would be required to join the new plan, but current lawmakers would be able to choose whether to stay in their current plans or enroll in the new one. The state Senate approved Senate Bill 1 by a vote of 40-9. Gubernatorial candidate state Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) was the lone GOP “no”...

Read More

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Legislative News | 0 comments

PA Senate Passes Pension Reform; House up Next

The state Senate passed Senate Bill 1 by a vote of 40-9. The measure would only apply to state and school district employees hired after January 2019. Current retirees and workers in the pension system would not be affected. Those hired after 2019 would basically have three retirement options. The first two are hybrid plans; that is, half defined benefit and half defined contribution. The third option would be all defined contribution, or a 401(k)-style plan. All three options are intended to reduce the future burden on future taxpayers. Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement, including Capitol police, would be exempt from the new plan and would be placed in the current retirement system. Future lawmakers would be required to join the new plan, but current lawmakers would be able to choose whether to stay in their current plans or enroll in the new one. Gubernatorial candidate state Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) was the lone GOP “no” vote. He says SB 1 doesn’t fix the current problem or...

Read More