PA Supreme Court rules transferring natural gas revenue earned on state land to General Fund is unconstitutional

PA Supreme Court rules transferring natural gas revenue earned on state land to General Fund is unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that royalties from oil and gas leases on state forest lands must be used for conservation of the state’s public natural resources, not used for general budget fund purposes.  


The four justices in the majority- Justice Christine Donohue, Debra McCloskey Todd, Kevin M. Dougherty, David N. Wecht- wrote an opinion stating that Article 1, Section 27 of the state constitution, known of as the Environmental Rights Amendment, does not give the state government a right to spend proceeds from the sale of publicly owned oil and gas for non-conservation purposes, even if they are generally used for the public good.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: News and Views
Commonwealth Court upholds Philadelphia's soda tax

Commonwealth Court upholds Philadelphia's soda tax

After hearing arguments on Philadelphia’s enacted soda tax in Pittsburgh in April, Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday that the tax is constitutional and not violative of Pennsylvania law.  


The American Beverage Association, The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, along with several Philadelphia businesses and consumers filed suit against the tax, which imposes a 1.5 per ounce fee on the distribution of sweetened beverages, stating that it is in violation of the state constitution.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Philadelphia
Commonwealth Court shows deference to proposed cyber charter school in contracting services with for-profit company

Commonwealth Court shows deference to proposed cyber charter school in contracting services with for-profit company

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Thursday issued an opinion that continued the judiciary’s line of increasing deference to charter and cyber charter schools who contract out the bulk of their services with for-profit companies.

 

The case—Insight Charter School v. Department of Education—stemmed from the denial of a charter application to Insight after the department and, later, the Charter Appeal Board denied Insight’s charter application.

Friday, May 19, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Commonwealth Court strikes down Pittsburgh paid sick leave ordinance, strikes blow to other municipal efforts

Commonwealth Court strikes down Pittsburgh paid sick leave ordinance, strikes blow to other municipal efforts

In the battle to enact Pittsburgh’s paid sick leave ordinance, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court ruled this week that city council had no authority to pass the ordinance intended to offer paid sick leave to low-wage workers.

The holding also puts in jeopardy similar ordinances currently on the books in other areas of the commonwealth. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
PA Supreme Court to hear oral arguments this week in budgetary line-item veto dispute case

PA Supreme Court to hear oral arguments this week in budgetary line-item veto dispute case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is sitting in Harrisburg for this week’s round of oral arguments and is scheduled on Tuesday to hear oral arguments in the case of Scarnati v. Wolf, a case taken over by the current governor concerning gubernatorial authority to line-item veto portions of budget-related legislation like the Fiscal Code.

 

The case stems from actions taken by then-Gov. Tom Corbett in signing the 2014 budget bills, in which he line-item vetoed a number of items in the state budget and the accompanying Fiscal Code legislation.

Friday, May 5, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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