Category: "State"

The Pa. Budget

For numerous reasons during the last election, a democrat using his own money defeated the political machine in our State and made his way into the Governors office. Promising higher taxes on everyone, including big oil and other industries the Republicans get their election funding from, it is no surprise that after a month or so of getting no where on the budget, rhetoric is starting to fly.

Two of the biggest items in the Repub's budget was getting rid of the State run liquor stores(at a loss to taxpayers) and reforming the pension system in the State(except for theirs of course). These two items couldn't even be done when they had the Governors office, so, as usual, it was just for show. They knew it had no chance of making it through. With those two items gone from their gameplan and other 'gimmicks' they were trying to use to balance the fairly large deficit that they passed on to the State, we are now causing programs at the lower levels to start to worry about funding for their programs. Of, representatives like Martin Causer will continue to get paid while folks needing the simple things to sustain are being cut off.

When will we all say enough to this 'lobby' that's infested the State House and Senate, cut taxes for the few and reduce programs that helps the citizens. All I hear is that the Repub's don't want to raise taxes on the people of Pa., but yet they had no trouble passing a 27 cent a gallon gas tax nearly four years ago and have you had to renew your auto registration? Notice quite a jump?

Get over yourselfs Repubs and get on board the Governors tax on shale instead of that sliding scale that let's them off the hook every year that you voted in a few years back. Do something for the people and not the rich. We need a budget passed soon and I know who to look at when the blame game starts to stick.

More Vetos

Governor Wolf is sticking to his guns and knocking down more crappy legislation coming from Harrisburg's Republicans.

He has now vetoed the school funding bill, the liquor store sell off and the fiscal code. Of the three, I feel the veto on the fiscal code is the biggest.

More on that later or you can google it to see what the republicans were trying to slide into it!

Pennsylavania Republican Budget Vetoed

It took me a couple of days to digest what the Republicans in Harrisburg call a 'balanced, fair budget'. I have to agree with a total veto from our Democratic governor of this 'smoke and mirrors' balancing act.

It contains many one time 'fixes' that does nothing to fix the deficit created over the last four years of Republican control. They want to sell our liquor stores and turn public pensions into 401k's left to the wims of the stock market. Neither one of these will fix the deficit.

The also say that they are increasing the school financing, but looking at their numbers they are spouting and the actual figures, someone isn't telling us the truth.

Not one independent or democrat had an opportunity to look at, let alone participate in putting the budget together. Our Governor should continue to veto a budget that does nothing to fill the deficit left by the Corbett administration and up to now is only creating a larger hole in the States finances

Why Can't they Learn?

If I read the law correctly, if you are convicted of Drunk Driving a second time, you spend time in Jail, at least that's the way it is for most folks that call Pennsylvania home.

But not if you happen to be a State Senator? Seems Sen. Pat Browne(R-Allentown) will be charged for drunk driving and driving at unsafe speeds after he crashed his motorcycle last weekend exiting I-78. Surely, a second time offender should spend some time in Jail, right.?

But wait, this was/is his third offense. Yep, and all three times on his motorbike.

We'll keep this story updated as to how Harrisburg and it's 'cover my back' atmosphere handles this.

Severance Tax

I was not surprised to read the comments from Rep. Martin Causer R-Turtlepoint and Rep. Matt Gabler R-DuBois about the Severance Tax proposed by Gov. Wolf. The article in the Bradford Era, Thurs. February 12th "Area Lawmakers Skeptical of Tax Proposal"

Causer says "It would make Pennsylvania's tax one of the highest in the Nation". And your point is Mr. Causer?

Gabler states "he believes it would have a negative impact on jobs and the economy in our area". We've heard this before from Republicans over the last few years Mr. Gabler. The big oil companies that fund your re-elections are just going to take their ball and go home, not continue producing gas from our rich shale formations. Right!

But yet both of these Representatives chose to impose on the citizens of our State the highest tax on a gallon of gas in the nation? Money into the pocket, double speak coming out of their mouths.

Here's the stat line on Pa. from an article posted in USA Today dated Jan. 20th of this year. It was from a study done by the Wall Street Journal listing the least expensive gas tax per gallon to the most expensive, 50 being the highest.

50. Pennsylvania
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 21.3% (the highest)
> State fuel tax: 50.5 cents per gallon (the highest)
> Gas price: $2.38 (7th highest)

"Pennsylvania has the nation’s highest fuel taxes, at 50.5 cents per gallon. This is due to the state’s relatively new gas tax, passed in 2013. The new tax is charged on fuel transactions and is based on the wholesale price of gas — although the reference price used is locked in for roughly another two years and then becomes subject to an even higher minimum. The tax is designed to raise money for construction and necessary repairs for bridges and roads throughout the state."

I think it's time that they singled out the most destructive industry to our roads and bridges and make them pay the 'extra' tax that most other natural gas producing States charge. By the time the industry friendly 'Act 13 Impact Fees' are made to the local communities, there isn't much left to help local municipalities cope with the damage.

You can see the entire article here

Open Records

Well, when Tom Corbett two weeks ago appointed a longtime senate 'staffer' for the Republican party to head Pennsylvania's Open Records division, I let my emotions get the best of me. I called it a sham, a disgrace and other words that can't be printed anywhere. I didn't post here as I wanted to see if our New Governor was going to have something to say about it. And did he ever!

Thursday, Gov. Wolf undid the appointment of Eric Arneson and is now searching for someone else to head the dept. Oh, of course this has the GOP in our senate fuming and let them fume. This man has done nothing to have earned his taxpayer's paid salary of 135k for the last 5 years except to be a 'marketer' of the message.

If you have never tried to get record from a Government agency you don't know what a daunting task it was before the open records commission was formed and with a republican crony appointed to oversee it would only lead to rolling back what has been progress since the whole plan was put into place 6 years ago.

I personally applaud this taking back of a 'crony' appointment. Stay tuned as they say.