Archive

Complaint about unions’ political letter referred to PA attorney general

July 29, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has punted a complaint about a political letter sent by state and national teachers unions last fall, saying it’s up to Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office to decide what … Read the rest

Expanded DNA collection bill pits public safety against privacy

July 20, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

State Sen. Dominic Pileggi thinks allowing investigators to collect DNA after an arrest could remove violent criminals from Pennsylvania’s streets.

The Delaware County Republican is lobbying to expand the state’s DNA-collection law, arguing police … Read the rest

PA legislator reloads bill allowing NRA to sue over local gun laws

July 14, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislative gymnastics doomed a 2014 law that allowed interest groups such as the National Rifle Association to sue local municipalities over their firearms ordinances, but a central Pennsylvania lawmaker is reloading … Read the rest

Pennsylvania budget impasse drowns out property tax relief conversation

July 13, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Finding a way to give Pennsylvania homeowners relief from their school property taxes is hard enough on its own, but doing it during a budget impasse that’s lurched two weeks into July is even … Read the rest

Plan to modernize Pennsylvania liquor stores could include higher prices

July 8, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed legislation last week that would have broken the state’s monopoly over wine and liquor sales and allowed the private sector to take over, he reasoned it was “abundantly clear … Read the rest

Union cash didn’t deter top PA Senate Republican from backing privatization

July 3, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Money talks in politics, but sometimes not loudly enough.

In March, the political action committee for the union representing employees at Pennsylvania’s state-owned wine and spirits stores cut a check for $7,000 to state … Read the rest

Brewing up a veto? Wolf still pondering liquor-privatization bill

July 2, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Wolf could wipe out Pennsylvania’s monopoly on liquor and wine sales with a signature.

Republican lawmakers Tuesday night sent Wolf a historic bill privatizing the wholesale and retail systems.

It’s the closest … Read the rest

Altered pension bill would save PA $11 billion over long term, analysis finds

June 30, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to a pension reform bill poised to reach Gov. Tom Wolf this week might alleviate some concerns about a legal challenge, but it will cost the state billions of dollars … Read the rest

Pennsylvania budget battle poses taxing questions

June 29, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Republican lawmakers spent the weekend advancing a $30.1 billion budget plan that holds the line on taxes, but it faces a near-certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

In terms of political theater, … Read the rest

Pennsylvania Senate uncorks tax break in wine-shipping bill

June 25, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would allow consumers to have wine shipped straight to their door from wineries across the world — and they uncorked a tax break … Read the rest

PA House lawmakers remove optional county fee from 911 legislation

June 24, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvanians will still see their phone bills rise under legislation revamping funding for 911 call centers, but they won’t get tagged with an additional county fee after the state House tweaked … Read the rest

Another liquor privatization bill enters the fray in Pennsylvania

June 23, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – A new liquor privatization bill would allow beer distributors to turn their businesses into one-stop shops where consumers could buy unlimited quantities of beer, wine and liquor.

Their potential competitors wouldn’t … Read the rest

PA GOP leadership ‘within a day or so’ of agreeing on pension reform, liquor privatization

June 19, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers have just 12 days to deliver a budget to Gov. Tom Wolf to meet the June 30 deadline, but the state Senate’s top Republican said Thursday afternoon there’s “plenty of time” to … Read the rest

Pennsylvania’s 911 fee increase marches closer to governor’s desk

June 17, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania senators lauded one another Tuesday as they passed a bill updating the 911 emergency communications law, but they sidestepped a key detail.

They’re raising your phone bill to pay for it.

EMERGENCY ACTION:

Read the rest

Wolf backs down on two battles with Senate Republicans — for now

June 16, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — First, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday morning announced he had allowed Erik Arneson to return to work as executive director of the Office of Open Records while an ongoing legal case … Read the rest

Ousted PA open-records chief calls reinstatement victory for independence

June 11, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday that Gov. Tom Wolf overstepped his authority by firing the executive director of the Office of Open Records, granting a personal victory to Erik Arneson, the … Read the rest

PA Senate rebuffs Wolf’s choice for state police commish

June 9, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Wolf wanted more time to talk about his nominee for Pennsylvania State Police commissioner.

The state Senate refused to reset the hourglass and instead voted against Col. Marcus Brown’s confirmation on Monday.… Read the rest

Armed with powerful lobbyists, union stonewalls liquor privatization in PA

June 1, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

FOR SALE: Pennsylvania remains one of only two states where the government operates a monopoly on liquor sales.

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

If you want to buy booze in Pennsylvania, you’ll likely do it the way your great … Read the rest

‘Slap in the face:’ Mother questions committee assignment for medical cannabis bill

May 25, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — May 12 was an exhilarating day for Lolly Bentch, who has been lobbying state lawmakers to approve the use of medical cannabis for nearly two years.

The state Senate passed a … Read the rest

Medical cannabis moves closer to reality in Pennsylvania

May 13, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Doctors across Pennsylvania are a step closer to receiving the ability to recommend medical cannabis to patients with cancer, epilepsy and several other approved medical conditions.

The state Senate on Tuesday … Read the rest