Archive

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 of … 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 to celebrate.… 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: State lawmakers

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 plays out.… 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 bill … 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 approved … Read the rest

Property tax relief to take center stage in PA state House

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

This is a big week for homeowners in Pennsylvania who want something done about their tax bills.

The state House is expected to take up legislation from state Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York, which, … Read the rest

Legislation giving PA taxpayers insight into cost of union contracts on the move

May 7, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two pieces of legislation that cleared the state Senate on Wednesday would give taxpayers a better look at public-sector union contract negotiations, but Democrats and union leaders have decried the effort as … Read the rest

Pennsylvania plugs part of budget hole with other people’s property

May 5, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes to Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property laws is producing a surge in revenue.

The state could take in $370 million more this fiscal year, the Independent Fiscal Office said Monday.

Changes in the laws now … Read the rest

Prison walls lock in offenders, but don’t keep free speech out, federal judge rules

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

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, center, signs the Re-victimization Relief Act as Maureen Faulkner, widow of police officer Daniel Faulkner, and Pa. State Rep. Mike Vereb look on Oct. 21 in Philadelphia. Corbett signed into law the measure he says is

Read the rest

Injunction ‘takes the teeth out of’ union’s attempt to organize PA home-care workers

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

An attempt to organize home-care workers across Pennsylvania hit a speed bump Thursday when a Commonwealth Court judge issued an order that would bar a union — if chosen to represent the workers — from coming to … Read the rest

In privatization debate, lawmaker wants to avoid mixing liquor, beer policies

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Liquor before beer, and you’re in the clear. It might not be just an old drinking saying anymore.

In fact, it’s almost the same philosophy state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, is … Read the rest

Homecare worker, patient challenge Wolf’s order that paves way for unionization

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Direct-care worker Don Lambrecht has looked after David Smith, a home-bound quadriplegic, for the last quarter century, more than enough time for the two to develop a friendship that goes beyond the … Read the rest