Pennsylvania

Governors In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

HOGAN PROPOSES MD SENTENCING LEGISLATION Responding to what he called “out of control” violent crime in Baltimore, MARYLAND , Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he plans to introduce a major package of anti-crime legislation when lawmakers reconvene...

Budgets Late In Many States | 07-07-2017

Ten states started the 2018 fiscal year on July 1 without a budget in place, according to the Tax Foundation. A partial government shutdown in one of those states, Maine, ended on the 4th of July when Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed a budget compromise eliminating...

Crime & Punishment - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Pennsylvania Approves HB 1238 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 1238 , which allows for someone to be charged with felony animal abuse for activities beyond killing an endangered species or fostering an animal fighting ring (LANCASTERONLINE). Crime...

Education - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Pennsylvania Approves SB 383 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate approves SB 383 , which would allow Keystone State school boards to authorize teachers and other non-police school employees to carry firearms on school property. It moves to the House (TRIBLIVE...

Environment - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

Pennsylvania Approves HB 1071 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate gives final approval to HB 1071 , legislation that would prohibit cities, towns, and counties from banning or taxing recyclable plastic bags. It moves to Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for consideration (PHILADELPHIA...

Soda Tax Revenue Fizzling In Philly | 06-16-2017

The new 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax Philadelphia began levying on sugar-sweetened beverages in January has brought in $25.6 million so far. Unfortunately, that’s far short of the $46.2 million the “soda tax” was projected to generate in the...

PA Passes Pension Reform | 06-16-2017

Last week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed into law the pension reform bill passed by the state’s Republican-controlled General Assembly a week earlier. The bill ( SB 1 ) will shift state government workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2019 and...

More Govs Join Climate Alliance | 06-09-2017

Nine more states last week joined the newly-created U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition to uphold the tenets of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, an international coalition aimed at combatting the impacts of global climate change. The coalition was formed...

NJ Casinos Get Big Boost From Online Gambling | 06-09-2017

For the last several years, New Jersey casino revenue has been declining by an average of 7.6 percent a year. But through April of this year, total casino gambling revenue was up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. The reason for the change of...

Health & Science - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Missouri Amends HB 90 The MISSOURI House declines to take up an amended version of HB 90 , which would have made the Show Me State the last in the nation to adopt a prescription drug monitoring system (KANSAS CITY STAR). Iowa Signs HB 524 IOWA...

PA Gov Pitches Unusual Plan To Reduce Medicaid Spending | 05-12-2017

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe (D) has proposed an unconventional way to reduce Medicaid spending in his state, which could become a necessity if Congress succeeds in repealing the Affordable Care Act: raising the state’s minimum wage. His administration...

Budgets In Brief - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

ND LAWMAKERS ROLL BACK SPENDING NORTH DAKOTA’s Republican-led Legislative Assembly passed a budget for the 2017-19 biennium last month that reduces general fund spending to 2011-13 budget levels. The $4.3 billion in general fund spending included...

PA Eyeing Online Gambling | 04-28-2017

Facing a $3 billion budget shortfall through next summer, Pennsylvania, the nation’s second biggest commercial casino state after Nevada, is considering a host of gambling expansion ideas, including becoming the first state to take both its casino...

Sanctuary Cities Split Country | 04-28-2017

To anyone who has watched the national political culture split into two poles over the last decade or so, it should be little surprise that the country is moving in opposite directions on so-called sanctuary cities, those which bar local officials from...

A Master Idea | 03-31-2017

Dedicated members of “Arnie’s Army” know the great golfer Arnold Palmer was a native of Latrobe, PA. But in later years Palmer loved to winter in Florida, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill near Orlando is one of the most...

Governors In Brief - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

Martinez Vetoes Slew of Bipartisan NM Bills NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez (R) surprised lawmakers in both parties last week by vetoing without explanation at least nine Senate-sponsored bills, most of which had wide bipartisan support. The vetoes...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

PA Senate Dems Suffer Cyberattack | 03-10-2017

On Friday, March 3, Pennsylvania Senate Democrats’ computer network was hit by a “ransomware” attack, a form of cyberattack in which computer access is blocked until a ransom is paid. The following Monday the caucus’ network, including...

Governors In Brief - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Wolf Pitches Job Protection Plan PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said new businesses that accept state grants to start their companies must be held accountable for the jobs they say they will create. Wolf’s budget proposal includes a three-point...

Philadelphia Soda Tax Exceeds Expectations In First Month | 03-03-2017

Last year, when Philadelphia became the second U.S. city to approve a tax on sodas and other sugared beverages (two years after Berkeley, California became the first), the city’s Department of Revenue estimated the levy would generate $2.3 million...

Social Policy - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Pennsylvania Approves SB 3 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate approves SB 3 , which would ban women from obtaining an abortion after the 20 th week of pregnancy, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger but with no exceptions for cases of rape...

New York And Florida Agencies Top Cybersecurity Rankings | 02-10-2017

The New York State Education Department, Florida Governor and Wisconsin Government were the state entities with the strongest cybersecurity standards of 600 local, state and federal government organizations analyzed and ranked in February 2016 by the...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Crime & Punishment - December 5 2016 | 12-02-2016

New York Approves SB 8117 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo approves SB 8117 , which requires that sexual offense evidence, or rape kits, are processed in a timely manner. The law also requires kits to be tracked from the originating police agency to forensic...

Business - November 21 2016 | 11-18-2016

Business In Michigan The MICHIGAN Legislature gives final approval to a four-bill package – SBs 995 , 996 , 997 and 998 – that collectively approve testing of autonomous vehicles on a 122-mile stretch of Wolverine State highways. The package...

Business - November 14 2016 | 11-11-2016

Business In Pennsylvania A PENNSYLVANIA court rules that employee drug tests are not confidential. The court ruled that a Keystone State law barring disclosure of patients’ substance abuse and addiction treatment records to third parties does...

Health & Science - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

Health In Washington The WASHINGTON D.C. City Council gives initial approval to so-called ‘death with dignity” legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe a terminally ill patient drugs they could use to end their own life. The Council...

Budgets In Brief - October 17 2016 | 10-14-2016

Changes Coming to NC Lottery Lottery officials and state lawmakers in NORTH CAROLINA said last week they are considering changes including making reselling tickets a crime. The news comes after an investigation by The Charlotte Observer revealed that...

Governors In Brief - October 3 2016 | 09-30-2016

Gov. Wolf Urges Passing of PA Opioid Measures Citing “a public health crisis the likes of which we have not before seen,” PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) addressed a rare joint session of the legislature last week to urge them to take action...

Budgets In Brief - September 19 2016 | 09-16-2016

Suspicious Tax Credits in OR An independent audit of renewable-energy projects that received Business Energy Tax Credits in OREGON uncovered enough circumstantial evidence to refer 79 of the projects - one in four, representing $340 million of the...

Budgets In Brief - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

AL Approves $1B BP Settlement Spending Plan ALABAMA lawmakers approved a plan last week to spend most of a $1 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on debt repayments, Medicaid and highway projects in Baldwin and Mobile...

Governors In Brief - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

Christie Denies Role in Trump Tax Deal NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) denied any involvement in a 2011 tax settlement deal between Garden State officials and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump that allowed his Atlantic City casino to pay only...

Maybe He Should Have Run This Year | 08-12-2016

If you think a certain unnamed presidential candidate is a little impolitic, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports , former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling posted on his Facebook page that he is planning to run for...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Dumpster Fire? No, Dumpster Pool! | 08-12-2016

Most folks don’t associate dumpster diving with anything good, but then Philadelphia is a world all its own. As ClickOnDetroit.com reports , Philly city officials are asking residents not to swim in dumpsters some industrious folks have turned into...

PA Passes ‘Netflix Tax’ | 08-05-2016

Part of a $1.3 billion budget bailout passed by Pennsylvania lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) last month was an extension of the state’s 6-percent sales tax to include digital downloads and streaming services. Nicknamed the “Netflix...

NJ Gov Considering Ending Tax Pact With PA | 07-29-2016

On June 30, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced that he is considering pulling his state out of the Reciprocal Personal Income Tax Agreement with Pennsylvania, which since the 1970s has allowed individuals who live in one of those states and...

Health & Science - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

New York Signs AB 3461 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs AB 3461 , which requires a court order appointing a guardian to oversee the care of an incapacitated person to identify all individuals who are entitled to notice of a person's death,...

Business - July 18 2016 | 07-15-2016

MA Approves SB 2394, SB 2409 and SB 2119 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate approves SB 2394 , which would bar Bay State employers from running credit checks on job applicants. The measure, which makes exceptions for positions where the employee would handle...

PA Passes Full Budget | 07-15-2016

In the final hours of the fiscal year that ended on June 30, Pennsylvania lawmakers sent Gov. Tom Wolf (D) a bipartisan $31.5 billion general appropriations bill but didn’t include a plan for how to pay for that spending (see PA Passes Partial Budget...

No, Really, It’s Me | 07-08-2016

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is a hands-on kind of guy, Meaning he does things us peons take for granted, like dialing the phone himself when he wants to make a call. Sadly, that doesn’t jibe with the culture around the statehouse in Harrisburg, where...

PA Passes Partial Budget | 07-08-2016

Pennsylvania’s General Assembly also passed a budget in the final hours of the fiscal year - sort of. What lawmakers sent to Gov. Tom Wolf (D) was a $31.5 billion general appropriations bill. A plan for how to pay for that spending has yet to be...

Budgets In Brief - July 5 2016 | 07-01-2016

CA Gov Signs $167B Budget CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a $167 billion budget that makes no spending cuts, deposits $3.3 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund and $1.75 billion into the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties, and...

PA Gov Backing Severance Tax | 06-17-2016

Included in a budget bill under consideration in Pennsylvania is a proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) that would charge natural gas producers in the state 5 percent of the market value of the gas they extract plus 4.7 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of extracted...

Governors In Brief - June 20 2016 | 06-17-2016

Gov. Cuomo, Lawmakers Reach Cancer Screening Deal NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and lawmakers reached a deal before the end of session last week to expand access to breast cancer screening by ordering Empire State hospitals to expand hours when mammograms...

Potpourri - June 20 2016 | 06-17-2016

SC Gov Vetoes HB 3440 SOUTH CAROLINA Gov. Nikki Haley (R) vetoes HB 3440 , which would have required moped drivers younger than 21 to wear helmets and all moped drivers wear reflective vests at night (STATE [COLUMBIA]). PA Gov Signs SB 1132 PENNSYLVANIA...

Business - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

CA Approves AB 1676 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 1676 , which bars employers from asking job applicants for their salary histories. The measure is now in the Senate (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). PA Gov Signs HB 1690 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf...

Education - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

PA Approves HB 1574 The PENNSYLVANIA House gives final approval to HB 1574 , which would broaden the Keystone State’s anti-hazing law to include public and private high schools. The bill, which makes it a third-degree misdemeanor when a student...

Oh For the Love Of... | 05-20-2016

Former PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Ed Rendell – eternally blessed with a bad temper and a blunt nature - has never been shy about dining on his own foot. The former gov was at his best again last week while trying to explain how presumptive GOP presidential...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....