Archive

New state Senate seat key in battle for control of chamber

October 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The newly created 40th state Senate District in Monroe and Northampton counties might not have an official incumbent, but Pennsylvania state Rep. Mario Scavello might be as close as it gets.

The veteran Republican … Read the rest

Lawmakers grant NRA standing to sue over local gun laws

October 23, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Municipal leaders across Pennsylvania are fretting over legislation that would give the National Rifle Association the power to sue over local gun regulations that reach beyond state law, but the NRA believes it’s their … Read the rest

ACLU vows lawsuit against law targeting offenders’ speech

October 21, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State lawmakers fast-tracked legislation last week that would give victims the power to seek a civil injunction to silence their offenders if they believe their speech is re-victimizing them.

Now, even … Read the rest

Prescription drug monitoring program on road to becoming law

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — The desire for public health protections trumped privacy concerns Thursday, as the state Senate sent legislation that would establish a broad prescription monitoring program to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the … Read the rest

Medical marijuana bill unlikely to pass this year; faces House scrutiny, Corbett opposition

October 14, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

A Senate-passed bill to legalize medical marijuana as a possible treatment for a variety of ailments probably won’t reach Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk this year.

Republican leaders in the state House plan to scrutinize … Read the rest

Drug-monitoring program a prescription for privacy loss, ACLU argues

October 14, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Law enforcement is about to get a good look inside Pennsylvanians’ medicine cabinets.

State lawmakers are on the verge of establishing an expanded prescription monitoring program that would allow law enforcement to obtain sensitive … Read the rest

Union reformer calls proposed open-records change ‘taxpayer-funded stupidity’

October 10, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Under Pennsylvania’s open-records law, residents have the right to know how their government operates.

Now, a proposed overhaul to the law would give government employees the right to notification — at least when somebody requests … Read the rest

As Abu-Jamal’s speech opens old wounds, lawmakers vow to increase victims’ rights

October 7, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Speaking from the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal on Sunday delivered the commencement address to about two dozen students at Goddard College, a progressive liberal arts school … Read the rest

Wagner calls for shake-up of state Senate leadership

September 30, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Conservative businessman Scott Wagner already beat the Republican establishment once when he won a write-in campaign for state Senate this past spring.

Now, the brash freshman senator is taking on Republican leadership again.

Wagner, … Read the rest

PA Senate approves Medical marijuana; future in House uncertain

September 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvania is one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana, but time is running short for the legislation this year.

The state Senate approved a medical marijuana bill in a 43-7 vote on Wednesday, … Read the rest

Hello, goodbye: State House returns, starts farewells with plenty of work left

September 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.

No, it’s not the Sound of Music. It’s the sound of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the fall session.

Departing state representatives have already begun to bid … Read the rest

Property tax reform hits another roadblock in Pennsylvania

September 24, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Proponents of eliminating school property taxes cheered a win last week, but it might have been a hollow victory.

State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, recently told a Delaware … Read the rest

‘Simple’ bill would limit spending growth in Pennsylvania

September 23, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett and fellow Republicans in the state Legislature have done their best to slow spending over the past four years, but poll after poll indicates the thrifty governor probably … Read the rest

‘Bonusgate’ attorney disbarred, seven years after legislative scandal hit

September 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Seven years after the Capitol “Bonusgate” scandal erupted that landed several legislators and staffers in jail — perhaps launching then-Attorney General Tom Corbett into the governor’s office — the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has finally disbarred … Read the rest

Grassroots effort pushes along PA property tax reform

September 17, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Tammy Keener of Berks County clapped, cheered and even cried Tuesday morning as state senators on the Finance Committee debated legislation to eliminate school property taxes.

When the panel narrowly approved … Read the rest

With $1 billion annual debt payment, state lawmakers eye borrowing limits

September 16, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — With about $10 billion of debt on the books, Pennsylvania certainly will feel the effects of borrowing in its yearly budget.

Debt service will cost Pennsylvanians about $1 billion this fiscal year, … Read the rest

Turzai wants Corbett to put on ‘full-court press’ for liquor privatization

September 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett already spent much of his summer traveling across Pennsylvania to stump for pension reform, but House Majority Leader Mike Turzai wants him to get back on the road … Read the rest

In Pennsylvania, buying beer out of state makes you a bootlegger

September 2, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Adam Vickers is a just a regular guy who works for a general contractor and sometimes takes the back way home from work in Maryland. On occasion, he stops at a rural liquor store … Read the rest

With school budgets tight, prevailing wage again goes under microscope

August 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When the Central York School District wanted to repair the roof on a middle school about two years ago, the school board found itself playing a game of financial chicken.

The roof … Read the rest

As clock ticks, lawmakers devise plan to revive property tax elimination bill

August 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

One year and five months — that’s how long bipartisan legislation that would eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania has been stuck in the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee.

“It seems like we’ve been pushing it … Read the rest