Leaders put big picture reforms on radar for last days of session

Leaders put big picture reforms on radar for last days of session

Legislative leaders have, after months of stalled efforts and with fifty days to the election, started pushing big changes to state government.

Speaking to the Philadelphia Daily News’ John Baer, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said that during the run-up to sine die, he wants to prioritize congressional redistricting reform and shrinking the size of the state legislature before the November general election, perhaps even adding session days.

This follows up on Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) officially releasing his bill to open primaries last week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Candidates try to motivate voters for local races as election day draws near

Candidates try to motivate voters for local races as election day draws near

Wandering into the cavernous Clinton County Fairgrounds commercial building Saturday surrounded by American flags, firearms enthusiasts and the smell of chicken dinners, Steve Baker was a man on a mission.

“I’d like to ask [Scott] Wagner one question,” he said.

A 66-year old retiree from multiple jobs, he lives off his pension, including one from the state. And Baker, a Republican, has seen troubling ads that say the GOP Gubernatorial candidate wants to tax his retirement, based off of old comments he said as a state Senator.

Monday, September 17, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
While Philly suburbs loom large, battle for House is showing up across Pennsylvania

While Philly suburbs loom large, battle for House is showing up across Pennsylvania

From Pottstown to Lock Haven, West Chester to Fox Chapel, election season is now in full swing.

While the much prophesied “blue wave” has a real chance to wash in a new Democratic House majority in Washington DC, it’ll likely crest too low to overturn the 39-seat Republican majority in Harrisburg’s House.

Plenty of GOP seats, especially in the southeast, appear primed for flips. But Democrats need to defend a caucus spread out into places that run red the length of the ballot, while their strategists know that any path, no matter how slim, to an eventual majority needs to include a few tough, uphill fights.
Friday, September 14, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Ending lawmaker car leases on House agenda for fall session

Ending lawmaker car leases on House agenda for fall session

When 27 state House members drive back into Harrisburg in two weeks, they may be asked to vote on keeping the wheels that brought them to session.

Multiple House Republican members and staffers expect HB 482 from Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford) to come for a floor vote during the first week back. The bill would eliminate the leasing of state vehicles to elected lawmakers going forward — but those currently with a car would be grandfathered in.

Thursday, September 13, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
Wagner opioid plan calls for lawsuit against manufacturers, smarter spending

Wagner opioid plan calls for lawsuit against manufacturers, smarter spending

Occasionally calling out crowd members by name on his home turf, Scott Wagner released his plan to tackle the opioid crisis Wednesday in York.

“I wish there was a switch we could just flip to cut this crisis off,” Wagner said to the crowd of about 200 people. “But the truth to be told is not that simple — there’s no switch to flip.”

Wagner’s plan includes expanding investments into programs with track records of ending addiction, providing more resources to law enforcement to crack down on drug dealers, streamlining regulations for mental health services and revamping the state’s prescription drug monitoring programs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018/Author: Stephen Caruso
Categories: News and Views
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