Yesterday, the General Assembly passed and the governor signed the remaining bills to enact the current fiscal year’s spending plan of $31.5 billion. To pay for the general appropriations bill, the Legislature adopted several tax increases and some new revenue streams. The cigarette tax was increased another $1/pack while e-cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco have now been added as taxable items.
Additionally, lottery winnings will now be assessed a PIT and a sales tax will be imposed on digital downloading of books, music, satellite radio, and streaming audio/video. The tax on table games was also increased by 2%, but will sunset in five years. Revenue streams for the fiscal year are also dependent upon several non-recurring sources; i.e., a number of transfers contained in the fiscal code such as transfers from:
Please contact Jack Phillips with any questions.
Calling all golfers (and those who pretend to play golf like me), it’s time to register for RCPA PAC’s Third Annual Golf Outing, to be held on Tuesday, September 27 at the beautiful Hershey Country Club! Lunch will start at 11:00 am in the Weitzel Room followed by a putting contest and 1:00 pm shotgun start.
The RPCA PAC raises money and supports campaigns of state legislators who work tirelessly on issues that benefit mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, addictive disease treatment and services, brain injuries, medical and vocational rehabilitation, and other related human services. The funds raised through RCPA PAC can make the difference between a win and a loss on an issue or assist in making a new ally. Even if you can’t be a strong contributor to RPCA PAC fundraising efforts, we all have friends and business associates who are interested in helping our allies to victory. Getting involved in RCPA PAC not only allows you to help make decisions on who the committee supports, but also helps to identify new folks who will join in our successes. Further questions may be directed to Jack Phillips.
RCPA recently sent a letter to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee supporting SB 1305. Sponsored by Senator Yaw, the bill would require insurance coverage for abuse deterrent opioids that is equal to coverage of other opioids, while prohibiting higher copays for pills that cannot be crushed or diluted.
Gov. Tom Wolf also supports similar requirements contained in SB 1305. The governor has called for a requirement that all of the state’s physicians check patients’ drug histories in a new database every time they prescribe controlled substances, including opioids. Several important pieces of legislation have passed the Senate, and await action in the House. Currently, there are a number of bills in both the House and Senate dealing with the opioid crisis.
RCPA has been working with various groups and supports SB 1305, because it reflects the collective expertise and resultant recommendations of the Joint State Government Commission Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation. RCPA encourages its members to contact your state senator and ask for their support of SB 1305.
Early yesterday evening, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved the changes made in the Senate by a 144-54 vote and sent SB 1073, the general appropriations (GA) bill, to the governor. The approved GA bill increases spending by $1.5 billion, or an increase of 5%. Even though the General assembly sent the GA bill to the Governor, the House and Senate still must come up with the revenues necessary to pay for the appropriations as set forth in the bill.
On May 16, 2016 House Resolution 590 was passed, directing the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to assemble a task force comprised of representatives from several state departments, as well as licensed SUD treatment providers and advocates.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is poised to send SB1073, the General Appropriations spending bill, to the Senate today. The new budget bill authorizes important spending for all state programs – although SB1073 authorizes $31.55 billion in spending, the House will send the bill to the Senate without the requisite revenue to produce a balanced budget.
Highlights of the new budget plan includes:
According to Appropriations Chair Bill Adolph (R – Delaware), the proposed spending would be paid for by a mix of revenue sources: increased and new taxes on smoking related products ($480 million), additional revenue from the gaming expansion bill that still awaits a final vote in the House ($267 million), tax amnesty revenue ($129 million), the funds already projected from the recently enacted liquor bill, and $50 million from a license fee for a Philadelphia casino.
Hershey Country Club
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
RCPA PAC is looking for sponsors for its 3rd annual golf outing at the beautiful Hershey Country Club on Tuesday, September 27! There are many sponsorship levels available and we hope you will help support RCPA PAC. Please act now; sponsorships go fast!! Reserve your sponsorship here.
The RPCA PAC raises money and supports campaigns of state legislators who work tirelessly on issues that benefit mental health, intellectual disability, addictive disease treatment, brain injury, medical and vocational rehabilitation, and other related human services. The funds raised can make the difference between a win and a loss on an issue or assist in making a new ally. Even if you can’t be a strong contributor to RPCA PAC fundraising efforts, we all have friends and business associates who are interested in helping our allies to victory. Getting involved not only allows you to help make decisions on who the committee supports, but also helps to identify new folks who will join in our successes. Further questions may be directed to Jack Phillips.