Energy - May 27, 2011

Federal Avenue For Education Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced on Wednesday that they would be able to apply for $50 million in federal grant money. The money is from the Race to the Top grant competition. Secretary Ron Tomalis is currently reviewing the application to see if it would be a good revenue source for the department to pursue. They already applied but were denied funding from the first round of grants. Included in the state's proposal would be setting up two academies in Pittsburgh to train new teachers and provide continuing education.


Budget Debates Ongoing

Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) who is the minority chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wrote to House majority floor leader Rep. Mike Turzai addressing how Senate Democrats differ from House Republicans on the budget. In the letter Sen. Costa said he has a $750 million savings plan would restore funding without raising taxes. Costa also points out that a Marcellus Shale extraction fee and the $506 million revenue surplus could help restore proposed budget cuts.

This week the House passed their version of a budget and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

Budget debates are ongoing with House and Senate leadership with session reconvening on June 6.