June 26, 2014
Senate prepares for House's $29.1B GOP budget plan
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A $29.1 billion Republican-penned budget plan that makes higher payments to public schools, human services and public pensions is headed for certain changes in the Pennsylvania state Senate.
The bill, made public barely two days ago, passed Wednesday, 110-93 over the objections of Democrats.
Overall, it would increase spending by about $727 million, or almost 2.6 percent, over the current year's approved budget. Another $200 million would go on the books of off-budget programs or the current year's books. Democrats say it is inadequate for public schools.
Perhaps most glaring is its reliance on $380 million from the unlikely sell-off of the state's wine and liquor operations as part of an effort to paper over a massive revenue shortfall.
960K NYers sign for insurance under new health law
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - More than 960,000 New York residents have signed up for insurance under the state's new health plan marketplace during its first enrollment period.
The state issued a report Wednesday detailing how many people enrolled in coverage through the marketplace, part of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. The enrollment period lasted from Oct. 1 to April 15.
Fifty-five percent of the individuals enrolled in Medicaid. Another 38 percent signed up for private insurance, with most receiving some level of financial subsidy.
Eighty-one percent of those who enrolled were previously uninsured.
The report also says 3,100 small businesses have signed up for plans.
The numbers show New York is on track to meet its enrollment goal of enrolling 1.1 million individuals in a private plan by the end of 2016.
NY casino location board appointment delayed
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A decision to appoint a new member to the board reviewing casino proposals in New York has been postponed.
The New York Gaming Commission was scheduled to appoint a fourth member to the Gaming Facility Location Board on Wednesday but said it needed more time.
The board is tasked with reviewing the plans of developers looking to win one of the up to four casino licenses available for upstate New York. The board is authorized to have up to five members. It currently has three.
Details of the casino proposals continue to emerge as the June 30 deadline for developers to submit plans nears.
The group behind a $425 million casino being proposed in the Finger Lakes announced Wednesday that the development would be called Lago Resort & Casino.
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