State Issues April 2017 (5/17/2017) 
   

House passes its own version of a budget

The State House has passed a $31.5 billion budget in response to the Governor’s proposed $32.3 billion budget.  The House plans to pay for its budget by expanding gambling and privatizing the PLCB.  The budget, as passed, is by no means a final product—but a way to respond to the Governor that cuts can be made as opposed to passing tax increases.  The final budget, will likely land somewhere between the House budget number and the Governor’s proposed budget number.  

So what did the House do to tourism funding?

The House reduced the $10 million line item for statewide tourism promotion to $2.5 million.  While the budget will be amended, PRLA is very disappointed with the House’s lack of support for statewide tourism promotion.

House Liquor Control votes out another bill

The House Liquor Control Committee voted HB 1033 (Ellis—R, Butler) out of the committee.  The legislation would allow a licensed Distributors to purchase a wine and/or spirits permit for $5,000 each and sell unlimited amounts of wine and spirits, in addition to malt and brewed beverages.  PRLA was part of a broad coalition that opposed the bill.  

Plastic bag preemption

HB  1071 (Farry-R, Bucks) was passed in the House and is currently awaiting consideration in the Senate.  The bill would ban municipalities from banning, assessing fees, surcharges or taxes on plastic bags.  

Fiscal impact of minimum wage increase

The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) released the fiscal impact of Governor Wolf’s proposed minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $12.

  • The Governor stated the increase would bring in $95 million in revenue. The IFO stated that number is more likely $40 million, and of that, it would take years before $25 million of that is fully realized.
  • The IFO stated that 1.3 million people would see a wage increase, but also that 53,700 people would lose their jobs.
  • The IFO stated that welfare spending could potentially be reduced by $231 million, but that could also be upset by a necessary increase in the child care subsidy program, nursing home and community based care. In addition, more funding would need to be given for non-profit entities, local governments, school districts and higher pension costs of all of those entities.
  • The IFO also noted that the proposed minimum wage increase would put Pennsylvania at a higher minimum wage than any surrounding states. Pennsylvania currently has an unemployment rate higher than our neighbors and the higher wage would put Pennsylvania at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to bringing in new business.

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State Legislative Priorities Archive

State Issues April 2017

Posted on 5/17/2017

State Priorities_March2017

Posted on 4/6/2017

January 2017 State Priorities

Posted on 2/24/2017

December 2016 State

Posted on 1/12/2017

November 2016 State

Posted on 12/8/2016

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July 2016 State Priorities

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March 2016 Legislative Priorities

Posted on 3/15/2016