After a whirlwind of activity in the past two weeks, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly left town late on Wednesday, July 13, after passing legislation which completed work on the 2016-17 state budget.
In true Pennsylvania Dutch fashion, there was a smorgasbord of activity in Harrisburg this week while the legislature was in session and were negotiating the state budget with Governor Wolf. Here is a recap of some notable issues that could impact Pennsylvanians age 50 and older:
It may seem that Pennsylvania just finalized a state budget, but when that budget is nine months late it means the deadline for the next budget comes quickly. Lawmakers will spend the next four weeks attempting to finalize a state budget for 2016-17. Whether the Governor and the General Assembly can arrive at a compromise plan to meet the June 30 deadline is anyone’s guess.
Harrisburg, PA: Governor Tom Wolf presented his FY 16-17 budget in the annual budget message to the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Tuesday, February 9 th, but the budget itself was almost irrelevant to the event. Here are three takeaways for you and your family to consider in the coming months.
The budget discussions in Harrisburg reflected the winter weather this week – they appear to have gone into a deep freeze. With no movement anticipated for the near future on resolving the remaining budget concerns, it seems appropriate to discuss another issue on AARP’s legislative priority list for 2016 – the passage of the Caregiver, Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act.
The story of public policy in Pennsylvania in 2015 began with new occupants of three of the most important positions in the Commonwealth’s political structure – Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, and House Majority Leader Dave Reed. They took on the leading roles in the on-again, off-again state budget drama that played out over the course of the year, beginning with the Governor’s budget address in March.
An eventful Monday before Thanksgiving in Harrisburg with the focus entirely on the State Budget. Governor Wolf spoke before the Pennsylvania Press Club and confirmed that he and the General Assembly have taken a step backwards in working toward an agreement to pass a state budget, which is now almost five months overdue. The framework agreement that appeared to be in place a week ago is no longer acceptable to either side. A method to reduce property taxes is now the main sticking point, as the two sides cannot agree on a formula for implementing the reduction. With that disagreement in mind, the State Senate held a vote on a budget amendment to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania. The vote failed 24-25.
Public attention in Harrisburg this week centered on the on-going controversy about Attorney General Kathleen Kane and the behind-the-scenes negotiations to resolve Pennsylvania’s state budget impasse. These issues garnered the headlines, but with the General Assembly continuing to work while awaiting an opportunity to consider a state budget proposal, there were other things being talked about in the halls of the Capitol.
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