IFO: General Fund structural deficits to continue over next five years

IFO: General Fund structural deficits to continue over next five years

The state’s independent economic forecasters are predicting General Fund deficits over the next five years, even while job and wage growth are both expected to increase in the short term. 

Matthew Knittel, the executive director of the state’s Independent Fiscal Office, said on Thursday that the state’s projected revenues are expected to increase along with expenditures, continuing a structural imbalance through Fiscal Year 2024-25.
Thursday, November 14, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
City Council passes red flag law, tenant representation guarantee

City Council passes red flag law, tenant representation guarantee

Philadelphia City Council passed and amended a series of bills Thursday. Notable were new guidelines to provide Gun Violence Protection Orders and the establishment of city-funded defendant lawyers for those facing eviction.
 
With the vote, Philadelphia becomes the fifth major city to subsidize defense for low-income renters facing legal proceedings towards eviction. The bill was sponsored by Councilmember Helen Gym (D-At Large) and co-sponsored by six other councilmembers.
Thursday, November 14, 2019/Author: Marco Cerino
Categories: Philadelphia
Wait for community college system in Erie County set to continue as state board delays vote

Wait for community college system in Erie County set to continue as state board delays vote

Tom Petty wrote that the waiting is the hardest part, something that Erie County community leaders can attest to in their decades-long push for a community college system in the commonwealth’s 14th largest county.

That wait was supposed to end Thursday, with officials from the county’s political, business and education communities descending on Harrisburg for a State Board of Education vote on whether to establish a community college in the state’s far northwest.
Thursday, November 14, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Amid harm reduction conversations, lawmaker pushes for needle exchanges to be legal statewide

Amid harm reduction conversations, lawmaker pushes for needle exchanges to be legal statewide

Legislators are once again pushing for needle and syringe exchanges to be made legal statewide, pointing to evidence that they could be beneficial in combating the state’s opioid crisis, amid a broader conversation taking place across the city of Philadelphia, the state and the nation over how best to address drug addiction.

The proposal, introduced last week by Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), is part of a harm reduction paradigm increasingly embraced by activists and health professionals. That model is designed to accept the reality of drug use in society and, instead of criminalizing it, instead aims to mitigate its negative consequences while putting users on a path to treatment. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Auditor General says the state should do more to address climate change

Auditor General says the state should do more to address climate change

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Wednesday outlined a series of recommendations designed to address the threat posed to the state by climate change.

DePasquale’s 40-page report suggested that state and local entities are ill-prepared for the potential effects of climate change and that Pennsylvania will endure increased financial and health impacts if state lawmakers fail to act. 
Wednesday, November 13, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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