Another Year Of Pennsylvania Budget Woes

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Pennsylvania has struggled for a decade to pass balanced state budgets, and this year was no exception. A funding plan finally made it to Governor Tom Wolf's desk four months after it was due, though like all his previous budgets, Wolf let it become law without a signature. Many fiscal watchdogs say it doesn't do much to address the commonwealth's underlying issues anyway. Off the bat, lawmakers were at a disadvantage when creating it. Revenue had come in more than a billion dollars less than expected the year before, and all told, they were on the hook to fill a $2.2 billion hole.

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PA’s Highest Court Considers Governor’s Appeal In Home Care Case

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Pennsylvania's Supreme Court is deciding whether Governor Tom Wolf overstepped his authority with an executive order letting the state organize home healthcare workers under a union-like structure.  A lower court already decided against the governor once. But lawyers for the Wolf administration argue the governor's directive merely gives workers an option to voice their concerns. The 2015 order--one of Wolf's first in office--targets independent workers who care for elderly and disabled people in their homes. It has them pick representatives to meet with the state human services secretary about issues like pay and benefits. It also gives their contact information to representative groups, which opponents say could facilitate future organizing.

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PA’s Governor Sends Letter To White House Opposing AHCA

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Governor Tom Wolf has already been vocal about his opposition to the American Health Care Act--the Affordable Care Act replacement written and passed by Congressional Republicans.  But this week, he put it in writing. Wolf sent a letter to the Trump administration detailing how the AHCA's already complicating the state's budgeting process and could derail its efforts battling the opioid crisis. The letter is addressed to Jared Kushner, who's the Trump administration's point person on the national opioid epidemic. In it, Wolf argued the AHCA would be a blow to state programs that help people addicted to opioids, because it lets states treat drug problems as preexisting conditions that don't require coverage.  But he also noted that regardless of the resolution, the ongoing federal uproar healthcare is making it near-impossible right now to budget for healthcare costs on the state level. "I'm always thinking about what I might do from a contingent point of view, and there are a lot of different options.