Pennsylvania

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States | 04-05-2019

Legislation dealing with consumer data privacy has been introduced this year in at least 25 states, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net. As of April 3, such measures had been passed by their...

Will Other Cities Follow NYC’s Lead in Embracing ‘Congestion Pricing’? | 04-05-2019

“Congestion pricing , ” charging drivers for accessing heavily trafficked areas, has long been considered a politically toxic idea by city officials. But that could change with traffic slowing to a crawl in more and more cities - and the adoption...

The Local Front - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

PA Pittsburgh City Council Approves Package of Bills The Pittsburgh City Council approves a package of bills that would ban the use of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines and allow the authorities to temporarily seize the firearms...

Dozen States Adopted ‘California Rule’ on Pensions | 03-22-2019

In 1955 the California Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. City of Long Beach (1955) that workers enter a contract with their employers from their first day on the job, and their pension benefits can’t be reduced unless they’re replaced with comparable...

Murphy Ensures NJ Stays Cash-Friendly | 03-22-2019

Countering a growing trend among retailers toward accepting only credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation last week requiring brick-and-mortar retail operations to accept cash and imposing potentially...

The Local Front - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

San Diego City Council Gives Initial Approval The SAN DIEGO City Council gives initial approval to a proposal to eliminate parking requirements for new housing developments that are within a half-mile of a public transit stop. Downtown housing developments...

Pay Raises Tricky for State Lawmakers | 02-22-2019

In July 2005 Pennsylvania lawmakers voted to give themselves pay raises of between 16 and 34 percent, depending on their position. That action caused such a public outcry that the raises were repealed a few months later. And even after the repeal, 20...

Record Number of Women Serving as State Legislative Leaders | 02-08-2019

After picking up over 200 state legislative seats in the 2018 midterm elections, women now hold 2,112 legislative seats nationwide, nearly 29 percent of the 7,383 total, a record high, according to data from the Center for American Women and Politics...

Most States Prepared for Next Recession | 01-18-2019

It’s been 9 1/2 years since the last U.S. recession - the second-longest period between economic downturns on record. The economy still appears to be going strong. But there are signs trouble may not be far off. The good news for states is that...

Politics in Brief - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

HIGH TURNOVER AMONG TX GOVT WORKERS IN 2018 Well over 28,000 TEXAS state employees, 19.3 percent of the total state government workforce, left their jobs last year, the highest turnover in five years, according to a report from the state auditor’s...

Environment - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

PA Governor Issues Executive Order 2019-01 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issues Executive Order 2019-01 , which establishes a Keystone State goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. The order also creates a state...

Health Care - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

ME Rejects Plea to delay Medicaid expansion A MAINE court rejects a plea from the administration of Gov. Paul LePage (R) to delay the implementation of a voter-approved Medicaid expansion in the Pine Tree State. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy...

Effort Planned in PA to Block New Voting Machines | 12-07-2018

A powerful Republican state senator said he will propose legislation to keep Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) from forcing Keystone State counties to buy new voting machines. Wolf and Democratic lawmakers say getting new machines online before the...

Cybersecurity Hot Issue in Statehouses in 2018 | 11-30-2018

At least 35 states have considered bills or resolutions dealing with cybersecurity in 2018, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures . Twenty-two states have enacted such measures...

Voters, Courts Slowly Taking Redistricting Power from Lawmakers | 11-16-2018

While Congressional and state legislative races drew most of the attention on Election Day, those races were hardly the only critical issues voters would decide. Missouri, Colorado and Michigan became the latest states to endorse independent commissions...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures | 11-09-2018

‘Pink Wave’ Hits State Legislatures: As anticipated, given the record number of female candidates running for political office this year , women made significant gains in state legislatures on Election Day. Preliminary analysis by the...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

Business - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

Business in CA: CALIFORNIA officials announce they will postpone implementing SB 822 , a bill that would impose the strictest net neutrality law in the nation . Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) opted to delay the original start date of Jan. 1 2019...

Education - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

Education in MA: The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate endorse a revised version of SB 2631 , a bill previously amended by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) that would make student-led civics projects part of Bay State high school and eighth grade curriculum. The...

Social Policy - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

Social Policy in PA: PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs SB 554 , a bill that shields minors from prosecution for crimes their abusers forced them to commit, enhances law enforcement training and establishes a new fund for victim services. The law...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Sizable Statehouse Gains Possible for Dems in November | 10-19-2018

If the November election holds to the usual pattern for the first midterm election of a new presidency, Democrats could win control of nine legislative chambers in seven states, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures...

Education - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

Federal Court Rejects Appeal A federal court rejects an appeal by for-profit colleges to halt implementation of Obama administration rules that make it easier for defrauded students to get their federal loans forgiven and prohibit colleges from forcing...

Social Policy - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

TN Federal Court Rules A federal court rules that TENNESSEE may no longer revoke a person’s driver’s license over their inability to pay a traffic ticket. U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger’s ruling included a preliminary injunction...

Potpourri - October 22 2018 | 10-19-2018

PA Governor Signs HB 1346 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs HB 1346 , which among several things bars local governments from regulating drone aircraft (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET).

Pot, Meet Kettle | 10-19-2018

Speaking of candidates who might generously be described as a bit off center...Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner appears to have the temperament of an agitated pit bull. Or maybe just a desperate pol trying to stay relevant in a race he’s...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Education - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

NJ Department of Education Issues New Guidelines The NEW JERSEY Department of Education issues new guidance requiring Garden State schools to accept a student’s stated gender identity and to honor that student’s request to not notify their...

Politics in Brief - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

WV SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SPARED IMPEACHMENT After over an hour of deliberation, the WEST VIRGINIA Senate voted 32-1 not to impeach state Supreme Court Justice Beth Walker over her part in a court spending scandal. Three of the state’s other justices...

State’s Age Impacts Fiscal Health | 10-05-2018

The older a state is, the more likely it is to have fiscal problems. That’s one of the findings of an analysis of state fiscal health by William Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in...

How Not to Moderate for $1,000, Alex | 10-05-2018

Future debate organizers might want to cross famed “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek off their list of potential moderators. Goodness knows the folks who put together the recent debate between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and challenger Scott Wagner...

States Gearing Up to Bet Big on Sports Wagering | 09-28-2018

Rhode Island has placed a $23.5 million sports bet. The Ocean State isn’t betting on New England’s beloved Red Sox or Patriots but on the prospect that other bettors will. If enough gamblers play, the state wins and will collect $23...

Sports Bets Now Being Placed in Five States | 09-28-2018

Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting on May 14, four states have joined Nevada in allowing such wagering within their borders, according to the Legal Sports Report. Those states include New Jersey, where the sports...

Lawsuits Forcing States to Spend Millions on Hep C Treatment | 09-28-2018

A federal judge in Indiana ruled this month that denying or delaying treatment of prison inmates infected with hepatitis C constituted cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. A similar ruling last...

Politics in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

TX VOTER ROLLS SWELL TO 15.6M Nearly 400,000 names have been added to TEXAS’ voter rolls since March. The total number of registered voters in the state is now 15.6 million, 1.6 million more than at the time of the last midterm election, in 2014...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

State Justices Face Growing Impeachment Threat | 09-14-2018

Last month the West Virginia House voted to impeach all of the sitting justices on the state’s Supreme Court. And this week the Senate will begin its impeachment trial for those justices. At least a couple of the justices have been charged...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

States Look at Eliminating Lower Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers | 08-10-2018

Forty-three states currently allow restaurant operators to pay employees who receive tips, such as waiters and bartenders, less than the state minimum wage, with the minimum hourly rate for such tipped workers set by the federal government at $2.13. This...

Politics in Brief - August 13 2018 | 08-10-2018

NOT EVERY VOTE WILL BE COUNTED IN PA THIS NOVEMBER Over 2,000 absentee ballots cast by PENNSYLVANIA voters in the November election likely won’t be counted, according to local election officials. The problem, they say, is that outdated election...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Standing Aside or Standing in the Way | 07-20-2018

Federal courts continue to frustrate the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities and states that oppose its hardline immigration policies. Earlier this month Sacramento-based U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez rejected most of the...

PA Casinos Swarm for Interactive Gaming Licenses | 07-20-2018

Nine of Pennsylvania’s 13 casinos applied for iGaming licenses from the state’s Gaming Control Board this month. Those licenses, authorized by the gaming law passed by the state last year, will allow casinos to offer three interactive gaming...

Health & Science - July 23 2018 | 07-20-2018

MA Supreme Judicial Court Rules The MASSACHUSETTS Supreme Judicial Court unanimously rules that judges can require defendants with substance use disorders to remain drug-free as a condition of probation and send them to jail if they relapse (NEW YORK...

Fair Percentage of Airbnb Rentals Full-Time | 07-13-2018

According to a 2016 analysis of Airbnb booking data by the website fivethirtyeight.com, among the 25 cities with the largest Airbnb markets at that time, Honolulu, Hawaii had the highest percentage of active listings that were rented at least 180 days...

Govs Differ on Border Separations | 06-29-2018

The ongoing controversy over family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico has spurred a bipartisan group of governors to pull back or reject outright President Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. Democrats...

The Local Front - July 2 2018 | 06-29-2018

MA Attorney General Approves Extension In a ruling with statewide implications, MASSACHUSETTS Attorney General Maura Healey (D) approves an extension of a temporary moratorium on legal cannabis shops and other marijuana businesses through June 2019...

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...