Jake Corman

Brett Sholtis / WITF

A state Senate committee on Thursday approved a motion to subpoena records from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration about its handling of the more than 42,000 applications filed by businesses seeking a waiver from the state’s coronavirus closure order.

Pennsylvania GOP Lawmaker Opens Door To Minimum Wage Deal

Feb 25, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

A top Republican lawmaker is opening the door to raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage, but he's also insisting that Democrats lower their sights.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said Monday that Gov. Tom Wolf's latest proposal isn't reasonable and not worth discussing.

Corman wouldn't define what he views as a reasonable increase. But he suggests there's enough Senate Republican support for a more modest increase to bring a bill to the floor.

Drawing New Congressional Districts Gets Off To Slow Start

Jan 30, 2018
WHYY

 There are a few signs of progress, a week into the three-week period established by the state Supreme Court for lawmakers to produce a replacement congressional district map.

Google Maps

Top Republican lawmakers say they are outraged by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to strike down the boundaries of the state's 18 congressional districts and will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt it.

Matt Rourke / AP

After a week of closed talks between legislative leaders and Governor Tom Wolf, the House and Senate are back in session together for the first time in months.

Leaders say they have a loose budget structure to work from now, though no one has officially agreed to anything.

The House hasn’t yet held official discussions with members about the framework, but the Senate did Monday afternoon.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The GOP-controlled state Senate has formally rejected a conservative budget plan passed by the House—essentially resetting negotiations nearly three months past the deadline.

Now, Republicans in the House and Senate will attempt to work with Governor Tom Wolf to figure out a compromise.

Wolf has said he wants to get the budget done by October first.

But the general consensus from the House and Senate has been that that’s a stretch.

Matt Rourke / AP

The Pennsylvania Senate's Republican majority leader is pledging fast action following the House's passage of a plan to help plug state government's $2.2 billion budget gap almost three months into the fiscal year.

Sen. Jake Corman said in a statement late Wednesday night that senators recognize the situation's urgency. Thursday is the last day that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration has enough cash to pay bills on time until the spring.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Nearly five weeks after adopting a $32 billion budget for this fiscal year, state lawmakers are still arguing over how to fund it—precisely, how to fill a $2 billion shortfall in revenues.

Pennsylvania Budget Work Likely To Drag Into New Fiscal Year

Jun 28, 2017
Screengrab from Senatorcorman.com

A top Republican state senator says it's looking more like Pennsylvania's budget package won't be finished by the start of the new fiscal year in three days as lawmakers grapple with the state's biggest cash shortfall since the recession.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said Wednesday that the only agreement with House GOP leaders and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is on a spending figure, a number around $31.9 billion. That's about $600 million more than this year's budget figure, including money necessary to balance this year's books.

Budget Stalemate Thins The Guest List At PA Society

Dec 11, 2015

The state budget impasse is giving lawmakers a reason to rescind their RSVPs to the annual out-of-state political bash this weekend known as PA Society.

The days-long string of parties and receptions held every December at Waldorf Astoria, a luxury hotel in Manhattan, takes its name from the Pennsylvania Society dinner held in New York every year since 1899. The constellation of events around the Saturday banquet gives political heavies time to mix and mingle with business executives, lobbyists, campaign masterminds and potential donors.

The state Senate has passed what may be a doomed interim state budget meant to get public money flowing again to schools, social services providers, and a variety of other projects.

Debate wrapped up quickly Friday as the Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines to pass the stopgap budget.

Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto the package, criticizing the GOP’s concern for schools and social services as disingenuous.

Wolf: I Will Veto GOP’s Stopgap Budget

Sep 16, 2015

The tone of state budget talks hit a new low this week as the governor promised to veto a stopgap measure meant to get state funding flowing to entities facing their own fiscal cliff due to the months-long standoff over a state budget.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said a deal still seemed distant after a Wednesday meeting with Democrats and the governor. As a result, he said, Republicans would go ahead with a short-term proposal to fund schools and social services through October.

Gov. Tom Wolf may not like a Senate GOP plan to overhaul pension benefits for public school and state government employees, but Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman warns that Wolf's budget plan has zero votes among the chamber's Republicans.

Corman made the comments Friday on WITF-FM's show "Smart Talk." The House has scheduled a June 4 hearing on the bill, which was fast-tracked through the Senate without a hearing. Senate Democrats opposed it.

A top Republican in the state Senate said Monday that he's prepared for a late budget.

The commonwealth's spending plan is due June 30, and in recent years the GOP caucuses followed the lead of former Gov. Tom Corbett and his priority to meet that deadline.

This year, Senate Republicans have insisted their top priority is passing a public pension overhaul that reaps short-term and long-term savings for the state's deeply indebted retirement systems.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said if pension talks stretch into the fall, so will the budget process.

GOP Cool to Wolf Tax Plan

Feb 26, 2015

Governor Tom Wolf's plans to reduce corporate taxes are getting a cool reception from Republican legislative leaders who are waiting for more details.

On Wednesday, Wolf pulled back the curtain on a few of the "nice surprises" for pro-business groups in his budget proposal. He wants to bring the state's much-maligned 9.99 percent corporate net income tax down to 4.99 percent over two years.

Talk of liquor privatization all but disappeared from the legislative scene a year and a half ago, but the issue is back as state lawmakers discuss top priorities for the new session.

A plan to expand alcohol sales and phase out state wine & spirits stores passed the House nearly two years ago, only to die unceremoniously in the Senate a few months later. But the coming months hold promise for the proposal’s supporters, who say it should be part of any big policy compromise with the Senate and Governor Tom Wolf’s administration.

The new state Senate leadership isn't looking eager to clamp down on gifts to public officials.

The coolness to such ethics reform comes in spite of recent criminal charges against two lawmakers for allegedly taking cash from an undercover informant.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said, in this case, he's not sure how far ethical reforms can go to restore public confidence.

Shakeup In PA Senate GOP Leadership

Nov 12, 2014

State Senate Republicans have a new majority leader for the first time in eight years.

Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) will lead the 30-member caucus for the next two-year legislative session along with Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County, who was re-elected to his post Wednesday.

Corman ousted Senator Dominic Pileggi (R-CHester), who had been criticized for not advancing conservative policies, and who many say has clashed with Scarnati.

The Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustees will meet 8 a.m. Wednesday by phone to discuss a potential settlement of a lawsuit between state officials and the NCAA over the use of the $60 million fine PSU was ordered to pay in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

In 2012, PSU consented to a number of sanctions imposed by the NCAA in response to attempts by high-ranking university officials to hide Sandusky’s molestation of young boys. The consent decree included a $60 million fine to be used for programs for the protection of children.

Senator: Small Games Rollout 'Worse Than Obamacare'

Feb 19, 2014

What if you threw a gambling party and nobody came? State lawmakers are nervous they’re about to find out.

Small games of chance were legalized in Pennsylvania bars and taverns last fall, and the licensing process began in late January. But applications for licenses aren’t rolling in.

Only six of the 16,000 eligible bars and taverns in Pennsylvania have applied to offer games like raffles and drawings in their establishments. The stakes are high — lawmakers were hoping tens of millions of dollars from barroom gambling would help balance the state budget.

State Senate Republicans are expected to offer their own counter-proposal to the House's plan to phase out state wine and spirits stores and privatize the state's wholesale operation.

But details of the proposal are still under wraps. When asked for a status update on the bill, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre) said, with a laugh, "That's a great question."