Wednesday, April 6, 2016

House Passes New Fiscal Code Bill Cutting Growing Greener, Funding Natural Gas Expansion

The House this week took steps to put another Fiscal Code bill on the Governor’s desk-- House Bill 1589 (Causer-R-Cameron) that includes many of the provisions vetoed by Gov. Wolf in the last Fiscal Code bill-- House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike).
The environmental provisions in the bill includes a $15 million reduction in funding for the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund, takes $12 million from CFA’s High Performance Buildings Program and transfers it to fund a new program to expand access to natural gas infrastructure, earmarks existing DCNR funding for the operation of Washington Crossing Historical Park and directs funding to sewer and drinking water projects for specific legislators.
It does NOT include the previous provisions delaying Pennsylvania’s plan to meet the Clean Power Climate Plan rule or killing DEP’s final conventional oil and gas drilling regulations.
Interestingly, during consideration of this Fiscal Code bill, the Speaker of the House ruled several proposed amendments to the bill out of order because they violated the single subject rule, something environmental and other groups have pointed out.
Wednesday the House passed House Bill 1589 by a vote of 176 to 11.  The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

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