As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

As Governor prepares to sign criminal justice bill, sights turn to future reform

With one bill waiting for a signature, another waiting for tinkering in the Senate and Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) on his side, Governor Tom Wolf announced his desire to push criminal justice reforms through the legislature Thursday.

The proposed agenda includes state funding for public defenders, building a standardized risk assessment tool for judges assigning bail and a “clean slate” law to help minor criminals clear their records and rejoin society.

Friday, April 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Counties have until last day of 2019 to procure new voting machines

Counties have until last day of 2019 to procure new voting machines

Pennsylvania counties will have until December 31, 2019 to find new voting machines that keep a paper trail, per a Department of State announcement Thursday.
Thursday, April 12, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
House Republicans gut and replace redistricting bill, drawing ire of reformers

House Republicans gut and replace redistricting bill, drawing ire of reformers

One hundred and ten cosponsors weren’t enough to get an independent redistricting bill onto the House floor intact.

Half a day after Rep. Steve Samuelson (D-Northampton) announced a discharge resolution to kick his redistricting bill out of the House State Government Committee, Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) and 14 other House Republicans voted to completely rewrite HB 722 via amendment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
House Health approves two welfare reform measures, including work requirements for public medical insurance

House Health approves two welfare reform measures, including work requirements for public medical insurance

Another day, another ideological slugfest over a platform issue in an election year.

The House Health committee approved two bills, both reforming the state’s welfare system, Tuesday afternoon after more than two hours of debate among representatives. The votes also came a day after a partisan debate on Speaker of the House Mike Turzai's (R-Allegheny) bill to ban justifying an abortion with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Lawmakers push to cut PSU board of trustees, among other reforms for state-related universities

Lawmakers push to cut PSU board of trustees, among other reforms for state-related universities

Three Republican legislators and Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale joined together Tuesday to formally announce a legislation package to let more light into the oft-opaque world of Pennsylvania's state-related institutions.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is a good government issue,” Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Lawrence) said.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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