Pennsylvania

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....

Crime & Punishment - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

Crime In FL A FLORIDA judge rules the Sunshine State’s death penalty law is unconstitutional because it does not require jurors to reach a unanimous decision on an execution sentence. The state’s current system requires 10 of 12 jurors...

Education - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

PA Approves HB 805 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate approves HB 805 , which would require Keystone State school districts to use an evaluation system instead of seniority when determining which teachers to lay off. It moves to Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has said...

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...

Crime & Punishment - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

HB 1947 Approved in PA The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 1947 , which would eliminate criminal statutes of limitation on child sex crimes and extend the window for victims of child sexual abuse to take civil actions to age 50. It moves to the Senate...

Health & Science - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

PA Legislature Approves SB 3 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate and House each approve SB 3 , which would legalize medical marijuana use in the Keystone State. It moves to Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has said he will sign it into law (FOX43.COM [PHILADELPHIA]). ...

Governors In Brief - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Bentley Impeachment Effort Moves Forward As expected, Rep. Ed Henry (R) filed articles of impeachment against ALABAMA Gov. Robert Bentley (R) last week. Those articles accuse the governor of, among several things, “willful neglect of duty,”...

Student Debt Varies by State | 04-01-2016

Sixty-nine percent of graduating college seniors nationwide in 2014 had some amount of student loan debt, averaging about $28,950, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. But some states had more 4-year college graduates in more debt...

Governors In Brief - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Wolfe Boosts State Wages PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolfe (D) issued an executive order ( EO 2016-02 ) raising the minimum wage to $10.15 per hour for state government employees and private sector employees working on state contracts. Wolfe said raising...

Majority of States Have Good Samaritan Laws | 03-04-2016

States have enacted numerous laws to combat the epidemic of opioid-related deaths plaguing much of the United States. Most common are so-called “Good Samaritan” laws that generally give a person civil or criminal immunity for seeking help...

Governors In Brief - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

Wolf Battling Cancer PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) revealed last month he is suffering from prostate cancer. Wolf, 67, did not specify what his treatment plan would be but said it would not include chemotherapy. “What I’m going through...

Govs Tout Clean Energy, Avoid Climate Change | 02-19-2016

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed off last week on a pledge to work together toward increasing the use of renewable power, integrating electricity grids across state lines and ramping up the number of alternative fuel cars on their roadways (For...

Crime & Punishment - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs SB 166, which allows individuals who have served their punishment and remained free of arrest or prosecution for seven to ten years, for nonviolent misdemeanors, to petition the court for their record to be sealed...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Budgets In Brief - February 15 2016 | 02-12-2016

Wolf Calls PA Finances ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) warned lawmakers last week that the Keystone State’s finances are a ticking “time bomb” leading the state toward “a fiscal catastrophe the...

Final PA Budget Unlikely Until After April Primary | 01-29-2016

Days before last Christmas - and six months after the start of the current fiscal year - Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature sent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf a $30.26 billion state budget. Wolf signed $23.39 billion of that spending plan...

Crime & Punishment - February 1 2016 | 01-29-2016

Crime & Punishment in LA & PA The Supreme Court of the United States rules that people sentenced to life in prison as juveniles should be allowed to petition for a review of their sentence in order to seek parole. The High Court ruled that...

PA Senate OKs House Reduction | 01-29-2016

The Pennsylvania Senate gave preliminary approval last week to change the state’s Constitution to reduce the size of the House from 203 seats to 151. The House passed a resolution last May allowing that change. But while the Senate embraced the...

Consequences Spur On-Time Budgets | 01-08-2016

It took Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the state’s lawmakers until the end of December - six months into the current fiscal year - to approve a state budget. It was only a partial budget at that, with Wolf’s line-item vetoes leaving major...

Health and Science - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

Health in MA The MASSACHUSETTS House gives initial approval to HB 3895, a bill that would allow Bay State doctors to delegate the administration of immunizations to certified and trained medical assistants, under the direct supervision of the provider...

Politics In Brief - January 11 2016 | 01-08-2016

Expensive Ballot Battle Coming to CA The California secretary of state’s office announced last month that a measure imposing price controls on state drug purchases has qualified for the state’s November 2016 ballot. The California Drug...

GOP-Imposed Deadline Could Force Stopgap Budget in PA | 12-18-2015

Last Wednesday, 5 1/2 months into the current fiscal year without a state budget, Pennsylvania House Republicans gave Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the chamber’s Democratic minority 24 hours to come up with enough votes to pass the $1 billion tax plan they’re...

Just Bag This One Already | 12-18-2015

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is a rabid Eagles fan. I mean rabid! As in he even does a bit of pro-Eagles punditry for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia. But it hasn’t been a great year for the Iggles so far, which means the mercurial Rendell...

Health & Science - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

Health & Science in MD The MARYLAND Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issues an order authorizing pharmacists to dispense the anti-overdose drug naloxone to thousands of individuals who have been trained and certified through the state’s...

Potpourri - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

A FLORIDA court rules that a Sunshine State law mandating that dogs which cause severe injury to a person be euthanized is unconstitutional. Judge Andrew Owens rules the statute to be “arbitrary and unduly oppressive” (BRADENTON HERALD). ...

The Ghost of Honest Abe | 12-04-2015

Speaking of small burgs, the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania recently marked the 152nd anniversary of the momentous battle there in 1863 that turned the tide of the Civil War in favor of the Union. Shortly thereafter, as ABC News reports, a bust...

PA Close to Budget Deal | 12-04-2015

Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to make a final push this weekend to hammer out the details of a budget that would increase spending by 6 percent, expand the sales tax base, reform public pensions, increase the availability of wine and liquor, and...

Movement on PA Budget Impasse | 11-13-2015

A deadlock between Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and lawmakers has left the state budget-less four months into the current fiscal year. But the governor’s office and legislative leaders said last week they’d reached a tentative agreement...

Flurry of Statehouse Action On Daily Fantasy Sports | 11-13-2015

Legislation related to daily fantasy sports (DFS) has been drafted or introduced this year in 16 states, according to LegalSportsReport.com, which covers the legal online sports wagering industry. The bills generally seek to legalize DFS in states that...

Airbnb Pays Hotel Taxes in Several U.S. Cities and Three States | 11-06-2015

Airbnb collects and remits transient occupancy taxes, also known as hotel taxes, on behalf of its hosts in a dozen U.S. cities and the District of Columbia, according to the company’s website. Occupancy and sales taxes are also collected and remitted...

Wolf Orders Anti-OD Drug Made Available to All | 10-30-2015

Faced with an ongoing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and state Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine issued what is essentially a statewide prescription that allows pharmacies to dispense the anti-overdose drug naloxone...

Budgets In Brief - November 2 2015 | 10-30-2015

Severance tax exemption cost LA over $1B LOUISIANA’s severance tax exemption on horizontal oil and gas drilling cost the state over $1.1 billion in revenue between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, according to a report by the state’s legislative...

PA Budget Stalemate Continues | 10-02-2015

Pennsylvania’s Republican-led House and Senate passed an $11-billion stopgap budget last month, seeking to end the state’s nearly three-month-long budget impasse. But as he did on June 30 to begin the budget stalemate, first-year, Democratic...

Pre-election voting restricted in many states | 09-18-2015

In most states eligible voters can cast their votes before Election Day, either by going to the polls during designated early voting periods or by voting via absentee ballot. But 30 states have no early voting period, although 13 of those states allow...

Budgets In Brief - August 10 2015 | 08-07-2015

NC Tentative On HB 943 The NORTH CAROLINA House tentatively approved a nearly $3 billion bipartisan bond proposal for roads and government infrastructure that would go before voters in the fall. Another vote was required in the House before HB 943...

Budgets In Brief - August 3 2015 | 07-31-2015

IL Cook County Approves Sales Tax Increase The governing board of Cook County, ILLINOIS narrowly approved a one-cent sales tax increase that will push Chicago’s rate over that of four Alabama cities and Seattle on Jan. 1, making it the highest...

Politics In Brief - July 20 2015 | 07-17-2015

MO Signs Reform Bill MISSOURI Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed a broad municipal court reform bill aimed at ending what the bill’s sponsor has called predatory practices targeted at the poor. Among other things, the bill limits fines and bans jail sentences...

PA Pay Raise Gone But Not Forgotten | 07-10-2015

In 2005, public outcry over a pay raise Pennsylvania lawmakers voted themselves helped erase it just four months after it took effect and fueled a major purge of both chambers in the next two election cycles. Government reform advocates have marked the...

Business - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

WA Approves HB 2136 The WASHINGTON House and Senate each approve HB 2136, which among several things directs the state to share marijuana sales revenue with local governments that allow sales in their jurisdictions, and allows them to adopt more flexible...

Budgets In Brief - June 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

ME Overides LePage Veto The MAINE Legislature overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of the state’s next two-year budget. The $6.7 billion spending plan includes modest income and property tax cuts for many residents (PORTLAND PRESS HERALD...

Potpourri - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

A PENNSYLVANIA court strikes down a 2014 law that allowed gun supporters to sue local governments that imposed gun prohibitions or laws stricter than statewide measures. The law’s supporters, including the National Rifle Association, say they will...

Health & Science - June 22 2015 | 06-19-2015

NY Senate Approves AB 7060 The NEW YORK Senate approves AB 7060, legislation that would allow emergency access to medical marijuana for patients with illnesses like epilepsy. It moves to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for consideration (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET...

Budgets In Brief - June 8 2015 | 06-05-2015

NV Omnibus Tax Measure to Provide Education Funding The NEVADA Legislature passed a $1.5 billion omnibus tax measure combining AB 464 and SB 483 that, if signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), will provide $600 million in additional funding for education...

Budgets In Brief - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

RI Taxing Big Trucks A plan in the works in RHODE ISLAND , dubbed “RhodeWorks,” aims to raise $1.1 billion for bridge repairs and road maintenance through the imposition of new highway tolls on big commercial trucks (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL...