Pennsylvania

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...

Health & Science - May 18 2015 | 05-15-2015

CA Senate Approves SB 277 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 277, a bill that would require all students but those with medical exemptions to be vaccinated in order to attend public schools in the Golden State. The bill, which would abolish the current...

Many States Restrict Municipal Broadband Development | 04-10-2015

The Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling in February preempting laws in North Carolina and Texas that restricted municipalities from developing their own broadband networks. As of January 2014, 20 states had such restrictions in place, according...

Health & Science - April 13 2015 | 04-10-2015

ID Approves SB 1146 The IDAHO House approves SB 1146, a bill that allows the use of cannabis oil to treat children suffering from seizure disorders. The measure is now with Gov. Butch Otter (R) for review (BOISE WEEKLY). SC Approves SB 426 The...

Governors In Brief - March 9 2015 | 03-06-2015

The PENNSYLVANIA Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a moratorium on executions imposed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) in February. The court did not say when it will hear the case (PHILADELPHIACBSLOCAL.COM). * UTAH Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said he would...