Archive

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

Lawmaker wants higher cigarette tax to fund property tax relief

August 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

All the talk about hiking the cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund city schools has some state lawmakers wondering, what about the rest of the state?

State Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, wants … Read the rest

Corbett adviser: It’s ‘myth’ PA can block drilling in Loyalsock State Forest

August 5, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

A group of environmentalists and lawmakers gathered Monday to deliver a plea to Gov. Tom Corbett: Do everything in the state’s power to keep natural gas drillers from industrializing about 25,000 acres of … Read the rest

PA’s No. 2: $1 billion education cut a ‘damned lie’

July 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley must have broken out his thesaurus Monday morning, considering he found several ways to denounce a recent political ad that accuses Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of slashing … Read the rest

Budget blues: Moody’s downgrades Pennsylvania’s bond rating

July 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

That didn’t take long.

Just weeks after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a patchwork budget and skipped town without addressing pension reform, Moody’s has downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating. It dropped the state fom Aa2 … Read the rest

Even with GOP majority, Pennsylvania can’t push ahead conservative agenda

July 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As Gov. Tom Corbett crisscrosses Pennsylvania to gin up support for public pension reform while lawmakers break for the summer, there’s ample opportunity to explore what has held up legislation that could save the … Read the rest

Corbett signs budget, but Republican rift deepens

July 11, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion state budget on Thursday — 10 days late — but his showdown with the General Assembly over pension reform is far from over.

Corbett used … Read the rest

All eyes on Corbett as budget stalemate drags on

July 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Another day has passed, and Pennsylvania is still without a budget.

So far, services haven’t been affected, but the impasse has made for intriguing political theater as Republican Gov. Tom Corbett jousts with the Republican-controlled Legislature … Read the rest

Fixes possible for Pennsylvania’s small games of chance debacle

July 4, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Barry Zeigler, owner of the Midway Tavern in Adams County, since the 1980s has lobbied for bars to offer small games of chance.

So when Pennsylvania finally gave the OK last year, it … Read the rest

Corbett leaves budget unsigned after lawmakers clash on spending plan

July 1, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett’s holding out.

Corbett delayed signing the $29.1 billion state budget that Republican lawmakers sent to his desk late Monday night, making good on statements that he was willing … Read the rest