Energy - May 6, 2011

Welfare Reform Bills On The Move

After Auditor General Jack Wagner reported that the Department of Public Welfare could save $400 million by reducing fraud and waste, legislators started preparing bills that would help trim the department's spending. Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon) is the leader of the initiative which she called in a statement, WelFAIR because its purpose is to restore Fairness, Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility. Several bills have been moving through the House quickly which toughen punishment for fraud, enact random drug testing of welfare recipients with a felony drug conviction within five years of receiving benefits, increasing accountability for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program and converting some job transition programs from grants to loans.


Markosek Says Budget Numbers Can Increase

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Rep. Joe Markosek said that Pennsylvania will have nearly $1 billion more for the state budget because the state's revenue has been higher than anticipated. Rep. Markosek said that money should be used for education and the adultBASIC insurance program. Governor Corbett's office responded by saying that the new revenue growth is a good sign, but spending still needs to be on tight reins. The Governor also said he would not approve a budget over $27.3 billion. Rep. Markosek, D-Allegheny, is the Minority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. 


Jobs AND Unemployment on the rise

According to CNN this morning, the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs in April, which is much higher than expected. Additionally, the unemployment rate rose to 9%. 


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