Potential challenge to line-item veto of Fiscal Code will likely hinge on whether bill contains “appropriations”

Almost immediately following Gov. Tom Corbett’s announcement that he line-item vetoed $72.2 million of appropriations for the legislature and legislative-designated expenditures from the General Appropriations Act and the Fiscal Code, questions about the constitutionality of line-item vetoing items in the Fiscal Code began to emerge.

“Today the governor also announced that he has cut, eliminated or placed in budgetary reserves several state programs directly, and through the unprecedented, and likely unconstitutional step of a line item veto to sections of the Fiscal Code bill,” read an emailed statement from Senate Republican leadership.

House Democrats also told The PLS Reporter that their legal staff is examining the constitutionality of the governor’s action.

So, what’s the big deal about?

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Friday, July 11, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Governor line-item vetoes $72.2 million of legislature’s funding citing inaction on pension reform; General Assembly responds negatively

Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday announced he signed both the FY 2014-2015 General Appropriations Act and corresponding Fiscal Code, but used his line-item veto authority to nix $72.2 million of the General Assembly’s appropriation for the fiscal year.

“The final budget they sent me, coupled with [the General Assembly’s] failure to address critical challenges facing our state, causes me concern,” Gov. Corbett said. 

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Thursday, July 10, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Philadelphia cigarette tax authorization has questionable future in House

The Senate adjourned until September Tuesday, completing work on a necessary budget bill, but leaving the fate of needed Philadelphia cigarette tax authorization legislation still in doubt.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Government reform advocates flunk legislative reform efforts since 2005 pay raise

Government reform advocates flunk legislative reform efforts since 2005 pay raise

Meeting on the ninth anniversary of the 2005 legislative pay-raise, government reform advocates gave the General Assembly a failing grade for reform efforts.

“Today, overall, the legislature has gotten an F-minus on the report card today,” said Gene Stilp. “[This is a] total failure on reform by the legislature.”

The legislative report card for mid-year 2014 focused on things like a total legislative gift ban, ending COLAs, ending legislative perks, campaign reform, requiring more documentation of expenses, and other similar areas.

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Monday, July 7, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Senate returns to session Tuesday to consider amended Fiscal Code, Phila. cigarette tax authorization

The Senate is scheduled to come back to session Tuesday to consider amended versions of the Fiscal Code and legislation authorizing a cigarette tax in Philadelphia.

The Fiscal Code is needed for budget implementation and the tax authorization is needed—says Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter—to ensure Philadelphia public schools can open on time and safely in September.

Both bills were amended in the House in the waning hours of the pre-July 4 budget dash. The changes need to be agreed to by the Senate before the bills can be finally passed.

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Monday, July 7, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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