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Pennsylvania in Focus: Pennsylvania Budget Takes Effect Amid Fight Over Funding It

By   /   July 11, 2017  /   No Comments

Pennsylvania Budget Takes Effect Amid Fight Over Funding It

For the second straight year, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will let a state budget bill become law despite being badly out of balance as he presses Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature to approve a tax package big enough to avoid a credit downgrade.

Wolf’s decision came in a statement Monday, after the collapse of down-to-the-wire negotiations and hours before the nearly $32 billion spending bill was to become law without his signature at midnight.

Wolf — who had stayed out of sight since Friday — wrote in his statement that he hoped lawmakers could come together in the coming days to responsibly balance a budget plan with a projected $2 billion hole in it.

In a series of alleged incidents reminiscent of the state’s infamous Porngate scandal, a Pennsylvania judge is accused of viewing sexually explicit images and videos in plain view of judicial staffers.

A complaint filed by the Judicial Conduct Board last week charges Monroe County Magisterial District Judge Michael R. Muth with engaging in conduct “so extreme that it brought disrepute upon the judicial office itself.”

Between 2006-2013, three separate law clerks reported walking into Muth’s office and noticing pornographic material on Muth’s computer, according to the complaint.

Last-minute changes would add Medicaid work requirement as part of budget

Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled General Assembly is considering significant, last-minute changes to the state’s Medicaid program.

Among the changes: requiring the state’s Department of Human Services to seek a waiver for its Medicaid program to impose work requirements on able-bodied recipients, “lock-in” Medicaid recipients in their managed care plans, and request a waiver to the federal government to charge premiums in Medicaid to families with disabled children whose income is above one thousand percent of the federal poverty income limit.