Commission eyes spending plans

RIDGWAY - Members of the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission [NCPRPDC] are keeping a sharp eye on federal and state spending plans as lawmakers continue to make budget adjustments."Not much has changed when we're looking at the federal budget updates," said Eric Bridges, the commission's executive director. "We're pretty much where we were a week ago when conversations started. Appropriation bills on the federal side are moving through each respective chamber."The appropriations process is reportedly more complex this year because of major differences between House and Senate discretionary funding levels. The Senate determined allocations for the 12 fiscal year 2013 spending bills based on an overall discretionary spending level of $1.047 trillion set in the 2011 debt limit law."House appropriators, however, approved lesser allocations based on the lower $1.028 trillion discretionary spending level contained in the House budget resolution, almost $19 billion less than the Senate spending level," Bridges said. "Because the House CJS [Commerce, Justice, Science] measure is funded below the level set by the 2011 debt limit law, it faces a veto threat from the White House."The Senate passed a CJS appropriations measure through committee, but the measure reportedly has not been scheduled for floor consideration.The search for a surface transportation reauthorization proposal continues.See full article by purchasing the May 24 edition of The Kane Republican.Next meetingNorth CentralWhen: Wednesday, June 27Where: North Central office, 651 Montmorenci Rd., RidgwayTime: 9:30 a.m.