Governor Signs Revenue Bills Into Law
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
On Oct. 30, Gov. Wolf signed into law several bills comprising a revenue package to balance the FY 2017-2018 state budget, including amendments to the Tax Reform Code, Fiscal Code and gaming laws. Together, the bills authorize $1.5 billion to be derived from the state's Tobacco Settlement Fund, impose a new tax on consumer fireworks, require online vendors to remit the state sales tax, require the Budget Secretary to develop a list of $300 million in transfers from dedicated funds to the General Fund, and generate an expected $238 million in expanded gaming, among other provisions.
General Assembly Sends Revenue Proposal to Governor
Thursday, October 26, 2017
The General Assembly has sent a Tax Reform Code bill (HB 542) and a Fiscal Code bill (HB 674) to the Governor's desk, comprising a revenue package to balance the FY 2017-2018 state budget. Together, the bills authorize $1.5 billion to be derived from the state's Tobacco Settlement Fund, either by borrowing against the funding stream or selling a portion of the settlement fund over 10 years; impose a new tax on consumer fireworks; and require online vendors to remit the state sales tax, among other provisions. In addition, the Budget Secretary would be required to develop a list of $300 million in transfers from dedicated funds to the General Fund.
House Approves New Revenue Proposal
Thursday, October 19, 2017
On Wednesday, the House approved amendments to HB 542, reflecting that chamber's latest proposal to close the $2.2 billion budget gap, by a 102-88 vote. These amendments authorize $1.5 billion to be derived from the state's Tobacco Settlement Fund, either by borrowing against the funding stream or selling a portion of the settlement fund over 10 years; imposes a new tax on consumer fireworks; and requires online vendors to remit the state sales tax, among other provisions. Other budget-related bills are reported to include other elements to balance the FY 2017-2018 budget, including the potential transfer of revenue from dedicated funds, though amendments have yet been offered.
S&P Downgrades State Credit Rating
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Credit rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) announced today that they are downgrading Pennsylvania’s credit rating for the second time in three years, to A-plus, citing the commonwealth’s chronic structural imbalance, a history of late budget adoption and their opinion that this pattern could continue. S&P further noted that while the state’s deficit is manageable, the reliance on one-time cash infu-sions has put too much stress on its tax collections to pay its bills on time.
Senate Votes to Non-Concur on House Revenue Proposal
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Less than a week after the House approved a proposal to close the $2.2 billion budget gap by relying heavily on one-time transfers from special funds that proponents claimed to have surpluses, the Senate voted 43-7 to non-concur in the House amendments to HB 453. While this is a step toward getting the bill to conference committee for the House and Senate to work out their differences, the House has not yet indicated its plans or whether it will vote to send HB 453 to conference committee when it returns to session on Sept. 25.
House Passes "Putting People First" Revenue Proposal
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Last evening, the House, by a 103-91 vote, approved an amended version of the revenue plan a group of rank and file members had proposed last week. As amended by the House Rules Committee, HB 453 still seeks to balance the state budget in part by relying on significant transfers from dedicated funding. Although the amendment did not include transfers from the 911 Fund or Farmland Preservation Fund, a number of other funds important to counties are still exposed to capture. CCAP has completed an updated analysis, which is linked below.
County Analysis of House "Taxpayers Budget" Revenue Proposal
Friday, September 8, 2017
Earlier this week, a group of rank and file House members has announced a no-taxes funding plan that relies on about $1.2 billion in one-time transfers from special funds they claim have surpluses and another $1.2 billion in other transfers and funding. Transfers from special funds impacting counties include $40 million from the 911 Fund, $27 million from state farmland preservation funding, $75 million from the Recycling Fund and more. CCAP has completed an analysis of the proposed transfers with the greatest impact to counties, which is linked below.
House Members Introduce Budget Plan
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
On Sept. 5, a group of 18 rank and file House members introduced a plan to fund the FY 2017- 2018 state budget. This plan proposes $1.25 billion in one-time transfers from 41 different accounts including the 911 Fund, the State Farmland Preservation Fund, and the Recycling Fund, as well as another $1.2 billion in other transfers and funding. Additional details can be found below.
Senate Approves Budget-Related Bills
Thursday, July 27, 2017
On July 27, the Senate narrowly approved a $1.8 billion revenue package (HB 542) that included $1.3 billion in borrowing and $571 million in new revenues from sources such as new or expanded gross receipts taxes on natural gas, electricity and telecommunications, a tax on consumer fireworks and imposition of the sales tax on internet-based sales. A "volume differential tax" on natural gas would also be imposed that would leave the current Act 13 impact fee in place, while guaranteeting at least $200 million in impact fee revenues annually. Finally, the plan depends on the transfer of $200 million in funds and $200 million from a gaming bill that has yet to be approved.
The Senate further approved amendments to the Human Services Code (HB 59), Administrative Code (HB 118) and Fiscal Code (HB 453), which included removing the sunset on the state's recycling fee and reauthorizing senior judge support grants for counties.
These bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Budget Becomes Law Without Governor's Signature
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
On Monday, July 10, Gov. Wolf allowed HB 218, representing the FY 2017-2018 state budget bill, to become law without his signature while discussions with the General Assembly on revenues continue. The Governor's statement is linked below.
County Budget Analysis Available
Friday, June 30, 2017
Following the amendment of HB 218 with a FY 2017-2018 budget on Thursday, CCAP has been reviewing the impact on line items impacting county government. A spreadsheet comparing proposed line items with county impact to the current fiscal year is linked below, and a more detailed narrative analysis will follow in the coming days.
Senate Amends Budget Bill
Thursday, June 29, 2017
On Thursday evening, the Senate Appropriations Committee was scheduled to amend HB 218 with a budget plan for FY 2017-2018. CCAP will be providing additional details and analysis here on the Budget News and Updates page as they become available.
County Budget Analysis - HB 218
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
CCAP has completed a full analysis of the state funding proposal in HB 218, which is now available under CCAP Budget Materials and linked below.
County Impact of Funding Cuts in House Bill 218
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
CCAP has compiled a chart outlining the specific cuts that impact county line items in House Bill 218 that is linked below as a helpful reference. Data collected from counties related to their individual impacts is also linked; additional data can be shared with CCAP by emailing PACountiesGR@pacounties.org. See the Legislative Action Center for all of the resources in CCAP's FY 2017-2018 Budget Toolkit.
CCAP Responds to House Budget Proposal
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
CCAP issued a statement expressing grave concerns with the budget proposal that was amended into HB 218 yesterday, which is linked below. In particular, counties note that the proposal contains sweeping cuts in funding for human services, criminal justice and administrative programs the counties perform on the Commonwealth's behalf.
House Republicans Offer Budget Proposal
Monday, April 3, 2017
The House Appropriations Committee today adopted an amendment to HB 218, the vehicle for the FY 2017-2018 appropriations bill, reflecting the House Republican budget proposal. Overall, the proposal reflects a $31.5 billion budget for FY 2017-2018, about $800 million less than proposed by the Governor. The House Republican spreadsheet is linked below, and CCAP will be providing additional analysis in the coming days.
CCAP Editorial on Critical Human Services Budget Needs
Friday, March 3, 2017
A CCAP editorial has been shared with the media outlining how budgets impact the county/state partnership for human services, and highlighting counties' top priority for human services funding and system reform. The editorial has been published in several media outlets throughout the state, including the York Dispatch, Uniontown Herald-Standard and Bradford Era. The full editorial can be read at the link below.
House and Senate Appropriations Budget Hearings
Thursday, February 16, 2017
The House and Senate Appropriations committees begin budget hearings on the Governor's FY 2017-2018 commonwealth budget proposal on Tuesday, February 21. Use the links below to find the full schedules for each committee; many will be shown live on PCN and pcntv.com.
Gov. Wolf Releases Consultant's Report on Cost Savings
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Following his FY 2017-2018 budget address, Gov. Wolf has made available a report from a consulting firm hired to identify ways to reform state government and eliminate waste. Many of the consultant's recommendations were included in the Governor's proposal. The full report is available on the Office of the Budget web page and is linked below.
County FY 2017-2018 Budget Analysis
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Following Governor Wolf's presentation of his FY 2017-2018 budget on Tuesday, CCAP has been reviewing the impact on line items impacting county government. A spreadsheet comparing proposed line items with county impact to the current fiscal year is linked below, as is a more detailed narrative analysis.
Governor Unveils FY 2017-2018 Budget Proposal
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Today, Governor Wolf presented his FY 2017-2018 budget proposal. The provided link to the Office of the Budget contains copies of the executive budget, slide presentations and other details. Also linked below is a spreadsheet comparing proposed line items with county impact to the current fiscal year.