PA House Passes Fiscal Code Bill with Bad Riders, but No Sev Tax

Yesterday MDN told you about two different environmental “riders” snuck into the Pennsylvania Fiscal Code bill that is part of the annual state budget (now four months late). The riders have nothing to do with the budget or raising revenue. It’s a sleazy political ploy to pass unpopular measures that wouldn’t get passed on a standalone vote. One of the riders changes the terms of existing leases by allowing drillers to reactivate old/expired leases, either by restarting production or by drilling a new well if the landowner doesn’t object within 90 days of notification (see PA Republican Senate Changes Lease Terms for Landowners). The other rider more or less enacts a permanent ban on drilling in southeast PA, in the South Newark Basin (see PA Republican Senate Extends SE PA Drilling Ban in Newark Basin). The bad news is that the House passed the Fiscal Code bill (109-75). The bill has now gone to PA Gov. Wolf for his signature. No word yet on whether the flaky Wolf will actually sign it. The good news is that a severance tax bill which recently had gained steam when it was reported out of committee (RINO Gene DiGirolamo’s House Bill (HB) 1401) did not make the cut. So far DiGirolamo’s bill has been loaded down with 350 amendments and there’s no end in sight for when it will receive voting attention, meaning (for now) it’s dead…

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