Archive

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

Pennsylvania mayors, lawmakers lobby for municipal pension reform

June 10, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — During the almost 10 years that Rick Gray has served as mayor of Lancaster, the city’s annual pension costs have exploded from $2 million to more than $6 million.

There’s a … 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

Pressure mounting against Pennsylvania’s civil asset forfeiture law

June 4, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Retired Maj. Neill Franklin oversaw more than a dozen drug task forces that used civil asset forfeiture laws to seize millions in property.

But by the late 1990s even Franklin, who … 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

Opinions vary on state takeover of Pennsylvania’s failing schools

May 29, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Philadelphia is ground zero for many of the state’s failing schools, but the city’s top educator is leery of proposed legislation aimed at turning those schools around.

NOT MAKING THE GRADE: The School District of

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‘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

Pension reform promises $18 billion savings, but questions linger

May 20, 2015 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

After what was touted as a historic vote in the state Senate, Pennsylvania is still a long way from getting any relief from its public pension problems.

A major pension overhaul bill cleared the state Read the rest

PA Senate, House cooking up pension bills

May 13, 2015 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Changes may be coming to Pennsylvania’s budget-busting public retirement programs.

The state Senate is moving quickly this week to approve a major overhaul of Pennsylvania’s two public pension plans. The Republican-backed proposal would change benefits … 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

Legislation would save parents from child-care benefits ‘cliff’

May 12, 2015 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

BENEFITS CLIFF: House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, wants to stop parents from falling off the so-called child-care benefits cliff.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Most working parents with children in day care would welcome a … 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 … Read the rest

Pennsylvania lawmakers vote to slim their ranks, but history says it’s all talk

May 6, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Despite the obvious ramifications, state lawmakers love to talk about cutting the size of the General Assembly, an action that requires a public referendum to change Pennsylvania’s constitution.

The populist proposal … 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 … 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

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As PA cuts tourism funding, officials look to local hotel tax to fill gap

April 28, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State Rep. Karen Boback has heard all about Michigan’s tourist attractions, thanks to the multi-million-dollar “Pure Michigan” ad campaign that brings views of the state’s freshwater coastlines, scenic highways and picturesque … 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 — … Read the rest

State House votes again to close union intimidation loophole

April 22, 2015 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State law says harassment, stalking and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction are all crimes, unless the people perpetrating the offenses are involved in a labor dispute.

It’s an … 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, … Read the rest