Archive

Liquor privatization doubts linger as House moves budget

June 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state House approved a $29.1 billion budget Wednesday, which banks on $380 million from selling off the state’s liquor stores. The budget now heads to the state Senate.

“This is not … Read the rest

After idling, ‘paycheck protection’ kick-started in House

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — There have been rallies, TV commercials and plenty of public speeches about so-called “paycheck protection” over the past several months, but all the while, legislation that would stop state and local governments … Read the rest

Pension bill could get a vote next week, but it sidesteps funding issues

June 19, 2014 | By | Posted in Governor, Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

House Republicans, urged on by Gov. Tom Corbett, hope to move forward next week with a plan to overhaul the state pension systems.

But what isn’t contained in their proposal could prove to be … Read the rest

Despite budget struggles, General Assembly sitting on big cash

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania might be facing a two-year deficit of $1.4 billion, but not everybody is hurting.

Aside from their $84,000 base salaries, session-day per diems and public pensions, Pennsylvania lawmakers had a reserve … Read the rest

State alcohol sale reform caught in ‘Mexican standoff’

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As everyone from beer retailers, the grocery industry and unionized workers fight for their well-being, a proposal to reform Pennsylvania’s alcohol sales system languished for another day in the state Senate on … Read the rest

Beer lovers rejoice: ‘Mug club’ discounts poised for comeback

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Mug club members can raise their pint glasses for a victory toast this week now that the discounts some once enjoyed on frothy beer are one step closer to a comeback.

The … Read the rest

Budget season collides with campaign season

June 13, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa — State Rep. Gerald Mullery expected a late night in the state Capitol on Tuesday, with the possibility lawmakers would consider more than 100 amendments to a pension overhaul plan.

Instead, Mullery … Read the rest

Lawmakers worry about drones’ impact on hunting, fishing

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Consider it a preemptive strike.

That’s how state Sen. Richard Kasunic described a pair of bills that would outlaw the use of drones to disrupt legal hunting and fishing activities in Pennsylvania.

“It hasn’t … Read the rest

Lawmaker looks to eliminate legislative license plates

June 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

In case Pennsylvania lawmakers need to get creative with their vanity license plates, NO1 SEN and BESTREP are still available, at least for now.

Members of the state’s General Assembly and congressional delegation … Read the rest

Seniority rule may be done for in PA schools

June 6, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Maura Pennington | PA Independent

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania soon may be able to dismiss its more senior teachers in favor of its most qualified.

House Bill 1722 proposes amending state law to protect excellent educators in the classroom. The House … Read the rest

‘Paycheck protection’ the $100 question for legislature

June 6, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania spends less than $100 a year to deduct dues for public-sector union employees, according to the state Treasury. That’s pocket change when considering the state’s $28.4 billion budget.

That aside, Republican … Read the rest

Full-court press for ‘paycheck protection’ coming to Capitol

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Scott Wagner complained Monday that “paycheck protection” legislation isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

That could change this week, as advocates of the legislation take to the Senate floor, … Read the rest

With revenue lagging, lawmakers eye higher cigarette tax

June 3, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Some state lawmakers have eyed a severance tax on natural gas extraction as the revenue hero that could swoop in at the last-minute to save Pennsylvania’s struggling budget.

But could it have … Read the rest

May bringing more bad budget news

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The bad budget news just won’t stop in Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Jake Corman and state Rep. William Adolph, the Republican chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committees, said … Read the rest

Pension overhaul could save $11B over 30 years but offers no immediate relief

May 29, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

An effort to overhaul Pennsylvania’s public sector pension plans got a key thumbs-up Wednesday but still faces several hurdles and would do little to solve the short-term pension problems in this year’s state budget.… Read the rest

Reform-minded activists deliver cash ‘bribes’ in state Capitol

May 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — For about a decade, activists for government reform have tried unsuccessfully to persuade Pennsylvania lawmakers and two governors to ban gifts.

On Tuesday, they started speaking in cash, though none of the … Read the rest

It’s Tom vs. Tom in the race for governor

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

It’s Tom vs. Tom for the highest office in Pennsylvania.

York County businessman Tom Wolf will face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in November after trouncing three Democratic opponents in Tuesday’s primary election. Polls closed at … Read the rest

State lawmakers want independent corruption-fighting agency

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Two state senators this week revived a call to create an independent agency to root out corruption in Pennsylvania after another round of embarrassing ethical lapses stained the state’s reputation this year.

State Sens. Read the rest

Lights, cameras, tax breaks! State House OKs more subsidies for Hollywood

May 13, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania lawmakers will soon be racing to fill a budget deficit that could top $1 billion in the next fiscal year, but there’s still a glimmer of hope the financial news won’t be all … Read the rest

Prescription drug monitoring bill clears state Senate

May 8, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Legislation that would expand Pennsylvania’s drug-monitoring program cleared the state Senate this week, passing despite some concerns it would jeopardize patients’ privacy rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has stood firm in … Read the rest