Pennsylvania

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....

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...