Archive

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

State Supreme Court: Part of Pennsylvania’s drilling law unconstitutional

December 20, 2013 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Pennsylvania’s highest court struck a blow to part of the state’s natural gas drilling policy Thursday when it ruled municipalities should have some sway over where the booming industry operates.

In a 4-2 decision … Read the rest

Property rights, Pennsylvania budget needs could collide

December 19, 2013 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Some Pennsylvania lawmakers want to rummage through the state’s financial lost-and-found box to help balance next year’s budget.

As part of a $1-billion revenue and savings package announced earlier this month, state Senate Democrats … Read the rest

State lawmakers want severance tax on natural gas drillers

December 18, 2013 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — They know it’s a long shot, but a small bipartisan group of state lawmakers is rolling out a plan for a severance tax on Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.

While the four … Read the rest

PA lawmakers consider cutting massive Legislature

December 17, 2013 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | Watchdog.org

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Legislature is massive, unwieldy and expensive, but House Speaker Sam Smith has a simple solution withthe potential to address all three issues.

Cut the number of legislators.

Smith, R-Jefferson, on Monday kept pushing … Read the rest

Privacy worries linger after tweaks to wearable-camera legislation

December 13, 2013 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania had hoped lawmakers would craft a statewide policy addressing many of the organization’s privacy concerns should an expanded wiretapping law allow police to use wearable cameras.

It … Read the rest