Sen. Leach to Expand Disabled Veterans' Real Estate Tax Exemption Program

Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) unveiled  legislation regarding disabled veterans’ at the Capitol Tuesday.

SB 1335 would expand the existing real estate tax exemption program so that more of Pennsylvania’s military families are eligible. Sen. Leach stated that his bill would eliminate the “Period of War” requirement and allow veterans with a disability rating to take a percentage exemption off of their real estate taxes that is equal to their disability rating.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central

Gift Ban Legislation Takes Center Stage in Senate, House Will Wait on Legislative Push

Legislation banning public officers from taking cash gifts or their equivalents made its way through the Senate State Government Committee Monday afternoon with the legislation anticipated to be passed by the full Senate by the end of the week.

Senate Bill 1327 by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) amends the law regulating public officers to prohibit the acceptance of cash gifts or their equivalents from a lobbyist or someone with business before the Commonwealth.

Sen. Baker noted she has been interested in introducing the legislation for months, particularly since she represents the area affected by the “Kids-for-Cash” scandal where judges took cash in exchange for sentencing juveniles to facilities owned by those offering the bribes when the sentences were not warranted.

“I believe this bill is a straightforward, commonsense approach,” Sen. Baker stated.

She further noted the bill addresses situations where public officers receive things like “Kohl’s Cash” or other store rewards. “We wanted to ensure that some of those common sense things were also considered as part of the legislation,” she said.

Sen. Baker called this a first step in putting a fundamental principle into law.

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Monday, April 7, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

Government Reform Caucus Urges Action on Gift Bans

Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) and Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland), co-chairmen of the Government Reform Caucus, held a press conference in the Capitol Media Center on Monday to urge action on bills that would require certain financial disclosures.

Rep. Dunbar explained that HB 1872 and SB 750 would require the reporting of any gift worth more than $50 and any expenses related to transportation, hospitality, or lodging worth more than $100. Sen. Teplitz explained that the bicameral, bipartisan caucus was formed last year with the goal of developing legislation that would make a wide variety of reforms to state government.

Monday, April 7, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
Victims Rights Rally Held

Victims Rights Rally Held

A rally to support the rights of crime victims was held in the Capitol Rotunda Monday morning.

At the rally, the Commonwealth Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm called for more crime victims, saying more options allow for more balance for crime victims. She also encouraged a grassroots approach to victim rights and encouraged attendees to take one goal back to their community that they can work on in the coming year.

Governor Tom Corbett and Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Free also spoke in favor of increased victims rights with Gov. Corbett noting his proposed budget includes additional funding for domestic violence and rape crisis centers.

Monday, April 7, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
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CeaseFire PA Unveils 2014 Voters Guide on Gun Violence Prevention Issues

CeaseFire PA unveiled its Voter Guide for the 2014 race for Pennsylvania governor during a press conference at the Capitol on Monday.

The organization analyzed candidate positions on a variety of gun safety proposals, including improvements to Pa.’s background check system, a ban on assault weapon and high capacity magazines, and mandatory lost and stolen reporting. Each gubernatorial hopeful was assessed on his or her answers to CeaseFire PA’s questionnaire. Katie McGinty and Allyson Schwartz scored a 100%, Rob McCord scored a 84% and Tom Wolf scored a 79% while Tom Corbett and Bob Guzzardi did not respond to the questionnaire.

Monday, April 7, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
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