State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Episode 56: The art of the "get out of town" budget

Written by Katie Meyer | Jun 22, 2018 12:45 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- It's a brave new world for the commonwealth's budget process--at least compared to the last decade or so. For the first time in many years, lawmakers are poised to pass a budget ahead of the June 30th deadline, and Wolf is likely to sign it after letting the previous three plans pass without a signature. Their proposal has made it through the House and, as of Friday morning, is awaiting final Senate consideration. It's a mostly status-quo bill--spending $32.7 billion, or about 1.7 percent more than last year's plan.

That extra cash doesn't come from any new revenue (there's none in the plan) but instead, from strong returns in the 2017-18 fiscal year, healthy projections next year, and some internal transfers. Plus, election year pressures are giving lawmakers extra incentive to agree to a plan and get out of Harrisburg fast.

WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer leads a discussion on the ins and outs of the budget plan with Capitolwire Bureau Chief Chris Comisac and Marc Levy of the Associated Press--plus explains why all budget numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

We'll also provide an update on lawmakers' long-awaited congressional redistricting overhaul, which seems increasingly unlikely to pass the House in time to impact the 2021 redistricting process.

And just a note: This episode of the podcast was recorded live as an episode of WITF's morning show, Smart Talk. That means it's a full hour long, and includes underwriting breaks.


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