Archive

A good year: PA wineries may soon compete with state store monopoly

October 11, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Joe Greff owns Blue Mountain Vineyards, a 50-acre, 35,000-gallon producing winery along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail.

Greff began selling his products in the state store system about 15 years ago, he … Read the rest

Week in Review: More property tax, transportation bill-wrangling up ahead

October 11, 2013 | By | Posted in General News

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers head back to session in Harrisburg next week, with plans to take up transportation funding proposals and continue discussing property tax bills.

Property tax elimination teed up for Senate hearing

After a report from Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: Marathon man cited after run in Valley Forge National Park

October 9, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — John Bell has gone for a run on all seven continents, Antarctica included. He has crossed finished lines in the Boston and New York marathons.

Sunday morning, he crossed a different kind of … Read the rest

$200M investment gets Urban Outfitters decade-long PA tax break

October 9, 2013 | By | Posted in General News

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Urban Outfitters promises a $200 million expansion and 2,500 new jobs in Pennsylvania.

The cost to the commonwealth? A decade-long tax holiday for the company — and there’s no calculation how many tax dollars … Read the rest

Proposal would quash PA regulation preventing Sunday pheasant hunting

October 8, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Six days each week for the past nine years, Dan Metzler has opened his 138-acre property in Franklin Township to regulated hunting.

Twice a day, on busy days, hunters and their dogs make … Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: Double-dipping retired judges make $11M, investigation finds

October 7, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Retired judges returning to serve in Pennsylvania courts made $11 million in 2012, an investigation by The Citizen’s Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa, says.

Pennsylvania allows retired judges, called senior judges, to temporarily return … Read the rest

PA Week in Review: Business as usual for PA legislators during shutdown

October 4, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG — The federal government may be shut down due to a congressional stalemate, but legislating and politicking in Pennsylvania is very much open.

This week, the second of the fall session before a one-week break, lawmakers busied … Read the rest

PA doctors: Prescription pill tracker could violate patient confidentiality

October 4, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — A plan to keep “pill shoppers” from scamming multiple narcotic prescriptions in Pennsylvania is on hold due to medical community concerns that it jeopardizes patient privacy.

House Bill 1694 would track prescriptions issued by … Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: PA Senate will debate property tax elimination options

October 3, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is trying to bring reform to the state’s school property tax system, but it’s too soon to say whether they’ll rid you of your property tax bills.

House Bill … Read the rest

PA House creates new tourism agency, authorizes $15M in tax giveaways

October 3, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — It took less than 90 seconds for the House of Representatives to decide to create a new state commission and authorize $15 million in tax credits devoted to improving Pennsylvania’s brand and tourism.

The … Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: How they voted: PA House members say no to property tax elimination amendment

October 2, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — A plan to eliminate school property taxes failed after several hours of House debate Tuesday evening.

Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks, introduced an amendment to House Bill 1189 that would change the bill’s … Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: Support grows for Pennsylvania online voter registration

October 1, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — The fall session will see a renewed push to make Pennsylvania’s election laws more technologically friendly.

Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Llyod Smucker, R-Lancaster, would create an online system to register Read the rest

Plan to stop double taxation of PA businesses clears House committee

October 1, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — A construction trailer that sat on the streets of Harrisburg for about three years has lawmakers figuring out how to keep a municipality from over-taxing businesses that temporarily work inside its borders.

The House Read the rest

Study: ‘Recession still haunts’ PA business owners

September 30, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — With a government shutdown and the cost of Obamacare threatening, uncertainty trumps optimism for Pennsylvania business owners.

More business people see the economy improving than at any time since 2007, according to an annual … Read the rest

PA looks to reform Medicaid, stave off cost increases

September 26, 2013 | By | Posted in Governor

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Whether Pennsylvania can lower its Medicaid costs is the $430 million dollar question.

That’s how much Medicaid and long-term care costs are going to increase next year, according to state officials, unless a set … Read the rest

Relocating sexually abusive teachers would be more difficult under PA Senate bill

September 26, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org

It’s called “passing the trash” — moving an abusive teacher to a different school district, often with glowing recommendations.

And if Pennsylvania lawmakers approve Senate Bill 46, it’s going to be … Read the rest

Business, industry groups come out against property tax shift plan

September 25, 2013 | By | Posted in General News

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Property tax elimination and reform proposals are an early focus of this fall legislative session, something plenty of tax-weary homeowners may be happy to hear is on the horizon.

Pennsylvania’s largest and loudest voices … Read the rest

PA property tax elimination plan gains co-sponsors, steam

September 24, 2013 | By | Posted in Features

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Support for the Property Tax Elimination Act is at a groundswell.

On Tuesday afternoon, under September sun and surrounded by red, white and blue, around 200 Pennsylvanians gathered on the Capitol steps to continue … Read the rest

WATCHBLOG: ACLU calls for patient privacy after PA pill-tracking database vote

September 24, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Fast-moving legislative action to track controlled substance prescriptions in the name of countering addiction has the American Civil Liberties Union concerned about the privacy of Pennsylvania’s patients.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania said “mere Read the rest

PA lawmakers return to Capitol amid record-low approval ratings

September 24, 2013 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania legislators are back in the Capitol for a fall session with a packed agenda, at a time when their job approval rating is at its lowest point in recent history.

About 11 … Read the rest