Archive

PA liquor stores still in limbo as privatization debate swirls

February 20, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Sen. Jim Ferlo doesn’t want to spend any more time or money talking about privatizing Pennsylvania’s state-controlled liquor stores.

“Let’s put this B.S. privatization to bed and bury it,” the … Read the rest

Lawmakers have appetite for pension reform, but menu options vary

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is on the clock.

Gov. Tom Corbett has challenged state lawmakers to get a pension reform package to his desk by the end of the spring. It’s a tall order, … Read the rest

Paycheck protection issue hits local level

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The battle over the so-called paycheck protection legislation has gone local in Pennsylvania.

About two weeks after hundreds of union workers flooded the state Capitol in Harrisburg to protest two bills that would … Read the rest

As Pennsylvania speaker heads into retirement, conservatives claim victory

February 12, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

After 28 years in Harrisburg and two terms as the top dog in the state House, Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, will retire from politics at the end of the year.

Smith’s decision to walk … Read the rest

Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to punish online gamblers

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As Pennsylvania studies the potential of legalizing online gambling, state Rep. Mario Scavello wants to set up a road block to web-based wagering.

The Monroe County Republican on Tuesday outlined a plan to penalize … Read the rest

Pundits, critics worry Corbett’s budget delays tough decisions

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Somehow, Pennsylvania’s projected $1.4-billion deficit disappeared this week when Gov. Tom Corbett revealed a budget that marks a 3.3 percent increase in spending from the current year.

Facing stiff re-election odds, Corbett did it

Read the rest

For parents, a tough choice: ignore a drug that could help a sick child or risk jail time

January 31, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Above all else, Deena Kenney describes herself as a mother who wants what is best for her son.

Under current law, the state of Pennsylvania says she can’t.

Kenney’s 17-year old son, Christopher, … Read the rest

PA Democrats propose taxing tobacco products, eliminating business tax deductions to fund education

January 31, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — New taxes on tobacco products and the elimination of tax breaks for some large companies are part of a Democratic plan to generate $1.1 billion in revenue and savings for Pennsylvania next year.… Read the rest

Lottery looks to win some legislative help

January 30, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Pennsylvania Lottery wants to expand, but first it must get some help from lawmakers.

As the population ages, lottery officials want to grow programs that help older Pennsylvanians. For that to happen, Revenue Read the rest

Union workers pack Capitol to protest paycheck protection

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — All across the state, union workers piled onto buses — some well before the sun rose Tuesday morning — to make the trek to the state Capitol, where they packed the rotunda stairs, … Read the rest

Amid union outrage, some public employees support paycheck protection

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A throng of union workers plan to converge upon the state Capitol on Tuesday with an ominous warning: Shadowy, big-money, conservative groups have forced their agenda into Pennsylvania in an attempt to cripple … Read the rest

Unions coalesce against ‘paycheck protection’ legislation

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Unions across Pennsylvania are fighting a proposal that would end the practice of automatically deducting dues from public workers’ paychecks. The plan squelches the voice of organized labor, the labor groups say.

“This is … Read the rest

Philadelphia could be site of speed-enforcement camera pilot

January 20, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Boulevard, a treacherous highway that’s well-known for its safety problems, could soon be the site of an experiment in speed control in Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Michael Stack, D-Philadelphia, has introduced … Read the rest

Education rising to the top of the legislative agenda in election year

January 16, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Maura Pennington | Watchdog.org

PHILADELPHIA — In the fight to win control of Harrisburg in 2014, the civil rights of students are in the forefront.

Education funding, access and outcomes in Pennsylvania have become central issues in a tense … Read the rest

PA closer to protecting crime victims from nuisance laws

January 15, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The state House has approved legislation barring municipalities from penalizing residents or landlords for calling police to their properties.

Lawmakers want to avoid the “unintended consequences” resulting from ordinances such as one in Norristown, … Read the rest

Lawmakers look to sharpen welfare oversight

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Two Republican state senators want more stringent oversight of Pennsylvania’s public assistance programs, a move that has already drawn criticism and allegations of election-year politics.

Senate President Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson, and state Sen. Read the rest

In Pennsylvania, taxpayers on hook for stashed-away debt

January 10, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania has about $12 billion in outstanding debt, good enough for a No. 15 overall ranking in State Budget Solution’s Fourth Annual State Debt Report.

That accounts for primary … Read the rest

PA lawmaker blasts ASA for academic boycott of Israel

January 10, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

A Pennsylvania lawmaker this week blasted the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel, calling it an example of anti-Semitism that should be condemned by the state and educational institutions alike.

“It’s the … Read the rest

PA Senate prez: Do away with ‘obsolete, unsustainable’ pensions or face difficult budget cuts

January 9, 2014 | By | Posted in Legislature

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

After two years of talk and little action, pension reform might finally rise to the top of the General Assembly’s to-do list in 2014.

If so, it will be for good reason. Escalating pension … Read the rest

Pennsylvania Turnpike rates jump again beginning this weekend

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

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The New Year will take its toll on Pennsylvania motorists — literally.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will raise tolls for the sixth consecutive year, with the price increases taking effect Sunday.

Drivers paying in … Read the rest