Wetzel removed from review of prison closure after comments draw outcry from NEPA lawmakers

Wetzel removed from review of prison closure after comments draw outcry from NEPA lawmakers

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel has been removed from the statutorily required review of SCI Retreat’s closure after offhand comments at a public hearing on the matter sparked a firestorm that involved three Democrats calling for him to be fired from his post.

J.J. Abbott, press secretary for Gov. Tom Wolf, confirmed that Wetzel will no longer be a part of the review process required under Act 133. In an effort to reboot the process, Wolf is also calling for additional public hearings to be held on the matter as part of a more thorough probe.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: News and Views
Despite Wolf opposition, both chambers move forward moratoriums on closing White Haven, Polk centers

Despite Wolf opposition, both chambers move forward moratoriums on closing White Haven, Polk centers

Supporters of the White Haven and Polk state centers received a rare bit of good news Tuesday, as a last-ditch attempt to halt their closure gained committee approval despite a spokesperson for Gov. Tom Wolf saying he opposes the legislation.

Lawmakers from Venango and Luzerne counties, where Polk and White Haven are located respectively, vowed a legislative response after the Department of Human Services said in August that it would close the two facilities, citing the desire to transfer more patients to community-based care.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views
With SCI Retreat slated for potential closures, lawmakers are grappling with the future of the state's prison system

With SCI Retreat slated for potential closures, lawmakers are grappling with the future of the state's prison system

The recent announcement that a state correctional facility in Luzerne County is set for closure has sparked a scramble among lawmakers, area residents and unions to keep the prison open.

But as concerns over the closure of SCI Retreat largely focus on the impact of an economically depressed part of the state, many are questioning the moral ramifications of using prisons as economic stimulants in the first place.
Monday, October 14, 2019/Author: Andrew Bahl
Categories: Features
Dems renew call for special session on gun control while key Republicans preach patience

Dems renew call for special session on gun control while key Republicans preach patience

Democrats again appealed to Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday to call a special session on gun control, following recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, as well as sustained gun violence in Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley.

At least one Republican has joined that call, with Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) telling The PLS Reporter Tuesday that she supported lawmakers returning early from their summer break to address the matter.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019/Author: The PLS Reporter
Did You Get The Memo? Poverty, broadband and a cap-and-trade study

Did You Get The Memo? Poverty, broadband and a cap-and-trade study

Amid all the floor debates, press conferences and committee hearings, the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s newest co-sponsorship memos can get lost in the shuffle. That’s why The PLS Reporter rounds up some of the most noteworthy co-sponsorship memos each week — so you can stay informed of what’s going on in the Capitol.

 

In this week’s feature are memos for proposals that would address poverty across Pennsylvania, deploy small antennas for wireless broadband internet access and study the impacts a cap-and-trade program could have on Pennsylvania.

Friday, June 7, 2019/Author: Justin Sweitzer
Categories: News and Views
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