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Monthly Archives: July 2013

House and Senate Finish Budget

While this year’s budget was hailed as on-time, the fiscal code bill failed to make the final cut until this week. After several revisions, and a rare return to Harrisburg after the start of summer recess, the House narrowly approved the bill as amended by the Senate by a 103-85 vote, and on Wednesday the Senate signed the bill, sending it to Governor Corbett for signature.


House Passes Farm Bill, Creates Stage for Conference Committee Talk

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a stripped down version of the Farm Bill without nutrition and food stamp programs being included. Passage comes after Republican leadership moved to separate those provisions from the bill in order to get a majority and move the process forward.  The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, or H.R. 2642, was approved by a vote of 216 to 208. The U.S. Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill in June by a vote of 66 to 27.


House Kills Renewable Energy Proposals in 2013 Energy & Water Bill

Last week the House voted down an attempt by Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry (R-4) to modify funding for the 2014 energy and water bill (H.R. 2609). Perry proposed increasing funding for renewable energy programs by $31 million and reducing department administration by the same amount.


Governor Signs Budget – Other Initiatives to Fall Agenda

Governor Tom Corbett and 29 members of the state House took part in ceremonies late Sunday night in signing a $28.375 billion state spending plan. This is slightly less than what Corbett had proposed in February, primarily due to a shift long term in revenue projections. The agreed-to budget is a 2.3 percent increase in spending over the current year budget, bringing the state in-line with pre-recession spending limits.


Beyond the Budget

As for Corbett’s other priorities – transportation funding, liquor privatization, and pension reform – many pieces remain in motion, but votes and clear resolution disappeared over the weekend.  The Capitol hopes to reconsider these issues in September.


President Obama Releases Climate Action Plan

Last week during a speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama outlined a suite of executive actions in his Climate Action Plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change.