Outgoing budget secretary strikes optimistic tone at mid-year budget briefing

Outgoing budget secretary strikes optimistic tone at mid-year budget briefing

Despite Independent Fiscal Office predictions of a $1.7 billion budget deficit, outgoing Budget Secretary Randy Albright struck an optimistic tone at a mid-year budget report Tuesday, citing a burgeoning state economy.

“We’re confident that we will end the year with not just a balanced budget but a surplus,” he said, adding that “we don’t think we face a $1.5 billion deficit for the proposed budget year.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018/Author: The PLS Reporter
VIDEO: Jen Swails to take over as Secretary of the Budget as Albright steps down

VIDEO: Jen Swails to take over as Secretary of the Budget as Albright steps down

Albright to take up position as top aide to SERS executive director

After a 2018-19 mid-year budget briefing, current Secretary of the Budget, Randy Albright, announced that he will be stepping down as the Budget Secretary at the end of the month. 

Gov. Tom Wolf joined Albright for the announcement and introduced Jen Swails, current Department of Human Services Fiscal Management Director, as the new Budget Secretary. 

Pamela Hile, spokesperson for the State Employmees' Retirement System, confirmed that Albright was taking on a position as special assistant to Executive Director Terrill Sanchez.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018/Author: Kara Barmoy
Categories: Video
Philadelphia City Council passes tenant reforms, revises occupancy disputes

Philadelphia City Council passes tenant reforms, revises occupancy disputes

Philadelphia’s City Council recently passed four major bills in addition to the anticipated Fair Work Week legislation. These measures give more rights to tenants, attempt to resolve trespassing ordinances on occupancy disputes, and raised the minimum wage for city workers and contractors.

Most of these bills were introduced in June or during the fall session. With council meeting once more in the 2018 calendar, passage becomes increasingly important as next year brings elections.
Monday, December 10, 2018/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Pennsylvania could see $50 million a year in sports gambling revenue

Pennsylvania could see $50 million a year in sports gambling revenue

Newly released numbers show the Department of Revenue estimates Pennsylvania can anticipate between $40 and $50 million in tax revenue annually once all sports wagering licensees are fully operational.

For fiscal year 2018-19, the department predicts $11.2 million in tax revenue from the recent sports wagering expansion, allowed by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. For fiscal year 2019-20, the number is expected to increase to $33.6 million.

However, a 2017 study conducted by Oxford Economics indicates once sports wagering is more convenient nationally, the commonwealth would experience a decrease in tax revenue due to the high tax rate.

Monday, December 10, 2018/Author: Robert Cochran
Categories: News and Views
Public transit advocates rally for fare equity

Public transit advocates rally for fare equity

With hopes of gaining lower fares and greater access, about 30 activists and riders gathered in front of a downtown Pittsburgh light rail station Friday, to call on the authority to enact reforms to ease the burden on low-income riders.

For Laura Wiens, director of transportation advocacy group Pittsburghers for Public Transit, the problem with the Port Authority of Allegheny County is a moral one because she portrays the county bus lines as lifelines for the over 200,000 people in the county that rely upon them.

Friday, December 7, 2018/Author: Atiya Irvin-Mitchell
Categories: Pittsburgh
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