The Grange is a place for people of all ages to connect with others and with their community. We offer programs to develop leadership skills, build character and provide service to your community. In the spirit of friendship, Grangers accomplish great things while having a great time. Our gatherings are designed to be enjoyable for the WHOLE family.
2017 PA State Grange Royalty
The 2017-18 Pennsylvania State Junior Grange Princess and Prince, Autumn Tworkoski and Tanner Davis; 2017-18 Outstanding Young Patrons Andrew Kieffer, and Denae Zvarick; 2017-18 Pennsylvania State Grange Youth Ambassadors, Grace Wadsworth and Jacob Mengel .
AG BUDGET ISSUES STILL UNRESOLVED
PA State Grange Legislative Director
There are still unresolved issues relating to funding for agricultural programs for the State Budget which was to have taken effect July 1, 2017. Basically, there is an impasse as to from where money will be coming from to fund the levels of spending already approved by the General Assembly. Although the Senate passed a revenue plan, many in the PA House of Representatives do not support the increased taxes.
Two additional issues specifically impact Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher learning relating to agriculture. Monies for Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences (agriculture research and extension programs) were already approved during the State Budget process. The “non-preferred” legislation enables this already approved money to go to those programs. In addition, Penn State faces another problem in those federal formula funds which fund Cooperative Extension and agricultural research stations cannot flow from USDA to the College of Agricultural Sciences until the PA General Assembly passes this enabling legislation.
The second issue is the matter of University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine that will lose $30 million in state funding if “non-preferred” legislation is not passed.
On August 16 at AG Progress Days, The Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations (PSCFO) Board of Directors discussed the issue and PSCFO President Jeff Nogan is contacting the PA House of Representatives urging it to take action on legislation which would allow funds to go to agricultural programs at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. PA State Grange President Wayne Campbell is a member of the PSCFO Board and attended that meeting.
The PA State Grange is not taking a position on any of the proposed revenue sources in the context of the current budget impasse. On the issue of taxing Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction for example, there are many differing opinions held by rural Pennsylvanians. Rather, the PA State Grange advocates House passage of this “non-preferred” legislation to at least allow funding for Penn State’s agriculture research and extension programs as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Sciences program.
MORE BUDGET UPDATES
According to State Treasurer Joe Torsella, a $750 million loan from the Treasury’s Short Term Investment Pool (STIP) was released to the General Fund August 16 to help the state’s cash flow until a revenue package is finalized by the General Assembly. Treasurer Torsella said that the General Fund balance will again fall below zero by August 29 and on or about September 15, the General Fund balance is projected to fall to minus $1.6 billion.
Sadly, the news does not get much better. Following is an excerpt from Senate Appropriations Committee Majority Chair Pat Browne (R-Lehigh)’s August 2017 newsletter giving more background on the current cash flow situation:
The Commonwealth ended last fiscal year with $2.3 billion of cash on hand, the lowest balance over the period, including 2008 and 2009 during the depth of the Great Recession. Without additional revenue, that balance is projected to drop to $1.8 billion by the end of this fiscal year, a balance that would be 50 percent lower than the average ending balance from 2005 through 2015. While cash flow shortages are normal in financially healthy organizations, the Commonwealth has begun experiencing cash flow crunches earlier in its fiscal year and at increasing dollar amounts over the last few years, both of which signify a worsening of the Commonwealth’s financial position.
The one bright spot in all this budgetary doom and gloom is that $100 million more in tax revenue was collected in July 2017 than in July of 2016. Lancaster Farming readers might be interested in a comparison between actual revenues coming in to the state’s coffers between July 2016 and July 2017 as a barometer on the current revenue picture.
Type of Tax July 2016 July 2017
Sales Tax 892.3 million 912.7 million
Personal Income Tax 760.4 million 827.0 million
Corporation Tax 66.4 million 61.8 million
Inheritance Tax 77.1 million 83.0 million
Realty Transfer Tax 32.6 million not listed
Other General Fund Taxes 105.5 million 138.4 million
(Other General Fund Taxes include cigarette, malt beverage, and liquor and table games.)
News & Updates
145th Annual PA State Grange Convention
October 19 - 22, 2017
The Northeast Hosting Committee invites all Grangers to attend the 145th annual session of the Pennsylvania State Grange. Grangers will "Bring their Grange Lights to the Electric City."
2017 Convention Schedule
2017 Proposed Resolutions
PA State Grange Resolution on PA Real ID:
REAL ID RESOLUTION
BE IT RESOLVED, The Pennsylvania State Grange urges immediate adoption by the General
Assembly of legislation bringing the Commonwealth in compliance with the Federal Real ID
requirements of personal identification required for airline travel, access to Federal facilities,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this legislation include all drivers’ licenses and other forms of
identification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and those holders of Real
ID-compliant identification not be required to subsidize the transition from present
The delegates at the 144th Annual Session of the PA State Grange deliberated and voted on 53 resolutions during their session in Shippensburg.
Resolutions with final action