New website: Rep. Perry a ‘Dirty Air Villain’

U.S. Rep Scott Perry

U.S. Rep Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, in an official portrait.

Note: This post has been updated to include a statement by Rep. Scott Perry and some clarifications by a spokeswoman for the group.

Congressman Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, is considered a “Dirty Air Villain” by new website WhoVotesDirty.com.

Put together by NRDC Action Fund — a national group to promote legislation that “jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans” — tracks how members of Congress, including senators, have voted on legislation with the “greatest impact or potential to impact clean air and climate policy.”

Perry has a 100 percent negative rating across 19 tracked votes on the website.

That percentage ranking is based on how often a member voted “the wrong way” on climate and clean air legislation and amendments tracked by the website, said Melissa Harrison, the communications director for the NRDC Action Fund. There will be a varying number of votes for each member based on how many votes they made and how long they’ve been voting.
Continue reading “New website: Rep. Perry a ‘Dirty Air Villain’” »

Posted in Energy, National, Pat Toomey, Scott Perry, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate | Leave a comment

Americans for Prosperity sends mailers against Wolf’s budget

Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania sent mailers to people living in certain lawmakers’ districts, urging them to oppose Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal.

In a news release Tuesday, the group said it targeted the districts of 15 lawmakers, including three from York County: state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township; state Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover; and state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township. The mailers say Wolf isn’t fixing the state’s $50 billion public pension deficit and that his budget would raise income taxes by 20 percent.

Wolf’s press secretary, Jeff Sheridan, called Americans for Prosperity a “right-wing fringe group” and said the mailers are misleading. He said the mailers ignore the property tax reduction the governor is proposing and the governor’s pension funding proposals.

Sheridan said it’s estimated Wolf’s plan will save $1.3 billion over five years and more than $10 billion over a longer time period. Sheridan said Wolf’s plan addresses the unfunded pension liability.

Jason High, Wagner’s chief of staff, said people are welcome to call Wagner’s office. But High said Wagner “has been pretty clear about his position on spending and taxes. …We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.”

 

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April Fools Day news release targets Sen. Wagner

This post, originally posted April 1, 2015, was updated April 2, 2015, to include comments from Keystone Progress:
According to Keystone Progress, children across Pennsylvania are big fans of state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, for his stances on education funding.

Wagner was the target of ribbing by the progressive group when they announced the formation of Kids Against Education, “a statewide coalition of kids from across Pennsylvania … to support the radical education budget position of state legislators like Senator Scott Wagner.”

The news release had quotes from “spokeskid” Matilda Wormwood, lifted from Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” and Kevin McCallister, who shares a name with the character of “Home Alone” movie fame. Continue reading “April Fools Day news release targets Sen. Wagner” »

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The numbers behind our tax analysis

You can check out the numbers here.

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Wolf’s severance tax proposal sets floor on price of natural gas

We did a story back in February looking at what needs to happen for Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed extraction tax to generate more than $1 billion a year.

In short, production needs to increase and prices need to rise.

In his proposed legislation, Wolf is trying to take out some of the uncertainty by setting a floor for the price of natural gas for tax purpose. Continue reading “Wolf’s severance tax proposal sets floor on price of natural gas” »

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Gov. Tom Wolf expects natural gas production to increase in Pennsylvania by this much

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Sen. Wagner targets another colleague

Sen. Scott Wagner

Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township (File photo)

It looks like state Sen. Scott Wagner hasn’t quite finished with former Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and has also found a new foe among his colleagues.

Related: Pileggi might resign from Senate

The Spring Garden Township Republican took aim at Pileggi, R-Delaware County, and Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery County, in a Tuesday email meant to address the status of his paycheck protection legislation.

Wagner was by all accounts an instrumental force in swaying senate Republicans to vote out Pileggi as leader in November. Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre County, was voted in as his replacement.

Related: Sen. Scott Wagner and challenger Linda Small both call for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi to be replaced

In the email, he reports an amendment to Senate Bill 501 introduced by Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair County, failed due to a tie vote of 24 to 24 in the Senate Monday.

“It was disappointing but not a surprise that five southeast Republican Senators voted no to the amendment,” he wrote, singling out Rafferty and Pileggi from the bunch.

Read what he said after the jump> Continue reading “Sen. Wagner targets another colleague” »

Posted in Pennsylvania State Government, Scott Wagner, State Government, State Senate | 2 Comments

What words came up most often in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address?

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Late Sen. Waugh honored on House floor

Mike Waugh poses in the large arena of the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. earlier this year. Waugh resigned as a York County state senator and has been appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to serve as executive director of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Jason Plotkin)

Mike Waugh poses in the large arena of the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. earlier this year. Waugh resigned as a York County state senator and has been appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to serve as executive director of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. (Daily Record/Sunday News — Jason Plotkin)

Sen. Mike Waugh, a York County Republican who died on Oct. 8, 2014, was honored today in speech by Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Red Lion, on the floor of the Pennsylvania House.

Related: Mike Waugh, longtime York County Republican lawmaker, dies

In the speech, Saylor traced his own history with Waugh to point out the various ways he said he felt Waugh differed from other lawmakers.

For one, he said, Waugh was involved in a lot of things for many years but never seemed to take the credit he was due.

One of those accomplishments was his instrumental work to pass a statewide building code by finding common ground between the extreme views on a prospective code. That, Saylor said, also illustrated his ability to unify people.

Saylor said Waugh made sure the entire York County delegation met every month to be a united front for York County’s needs. Those meetings continued, he said, despite the changing faces in the York County delegation over the years.

Related: Friends, associates remember Mike Waugh

A partially completed transcript of the speech after the jump. Continue reading “Late Sen. Waugh honored on House floor” »

Posted in Mike Waugh, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Pennsylvania State Government, Stan Saylor, State Government, state House, State Senate, Stephen Stetler | Leave a comment

Gov. Tom Wolf wants to cut the corporate net income tax rate by half

Gov. Tom Wolf wants to cut Pennsylvania’s corporate net income tax rate by half to make it one of the lowest in the country.

He announced the proposal Wednesday, along with plans to eliminate the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax and close tax loopholes through combined reporting.

He also proposed a ‘Made In Pennsylvania Job Creation Program’ through a $5 million tax credit. The tax credit will be given to “manufacturing companies that are creating good paying, middle class jobs,” his administration said in a news release.

The proposals will be included as part of his proposed 2015-16 state budget, which he will unveil on Tuesday.

In the 2012-13 fiscal year, the corporate net income tax brought in $2.42 billion for the state.

Pennsylvania has a flat 9.99 percent corporate income tax rate, the second highest rate in the nation. Iowa has the highest rate, but that state has a graduated corporate income tax, so the rate varies based on income, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation.

The Wolf administration said bringing the rate to 4.99 percent would make it the fourth lowest in the nation.

Here is a deep dive we did during the campaign about corporate tax loopholes. The corporate income tax was one of the issues we looked at in this October story.

Full release, after the jump:

Continue reading “Gov. Tom Wolf wants to cut the corporate net income tax rate by half” »

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