pennsylvania

With Feds Distracted, States Will Have Much to Ponder in 2020 | 11-22-2019

It’s the holiday season, and if most voters are thinking about politics at all they are probably pondering more about how to get through family festivities without a major blowup over differing political philosophies than they are about next year’s...

Consumer Data Privacy Bills Introduced in Half of States in 2019 | 11-22-2019

As of mid-October, 26 states had introduced legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net legislative data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven of those states had enacted...

Politics in Brief - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

NC Dems Contest New Congressional Map NORTH CAROLINA’s Republican-led General Assembly approved a new court-ordered congressional district map this month that could cost the party at least two seats in the U.S. House. But Democrats still immediately...

Social Policy - November 25 2019 | 11-22-2019

Massachusetts House and Senate Approve HB 4203 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate overwhelmingly approve HB 4203 , which would ban Bay State drivers from talking on a handheld device while behind the wheel. It moves to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who is...

Politics in Brief - November 18 2019 | 11-15-2019

Women Chosen to Lead VA House For First Time The VIRGINIA House of Delegates’ newly elected Democratic majority have chosen Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D) as speaker and Delegate Charniele Herring (D) as majority leader. They will be the first...

Governors in Brief - November 18 2019 | 11-15-2019

Cuomo Threatens NYC Utility NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) threatened to revoke the license of a utility that provides gas to New York City and Long Island unless it begins providing natural gas to new customers on Long Island. Cuomo also vowed to...

PA Passes Major Election Reforms | 11-01-2019

Pennsylvania’s General Assembly approved legislation last week that will bring the biggest changes to the state’s election laws in decades. The election reform bill, negotiated by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and leaders of the Republican-controlled...

Budgets in Brief - October 21 2019 | 10-18-2019

‘OPPORTUNITY ZONE’ PROGRAM NOT HAVING DESIRED EFFECT IN PA A program included in the 2017 federal tax overhaul, granting a tax break for investing in economically distressed areas designated as “opportunity zones,” was supposed...

Budgets in Brief - October 14 2019 | 10-11-2019

IN COMMENCES ONLINE SPORTS BETTING DraftKings and Rush Street Interactive launched mobile sports wagering platforms throughout INDIANA last week, making the state the eighth to offer legal online sports betting. Sports betting became legal in the state...

More Govs Support Legal Recreational Weed | 10-04-2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, both Democrats, said they will work together to develop a consistent regulatory framework for recreational marijuana use in their respective states. The governors said they believed they could...

Business - October 7 2019 | 10-04-2019

United State Court of Appeals Upholds Ruling The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the power of the Federal Communications Commission to roll back net neutrality rules, but also upholds the power of states...

Over Half of States Consider Consumer Data Privacy Bills in 2019 | 10-04-2019

At least 27 states have considered legislation this year dealing with the privacy of consumer data, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures . Consumer data privacy bills were enacted in six of those states, while measures are still...

Health & Science - October 7 2019 | 10-04-2019

The Missouri Department Of Social Services Makes Announcement The MISSOURI Department of Social Services announces that people participating in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program who hold a doctor-issued medical cannabis card allowing...

States Save for Inevitable Rainy Day | 09-20-2019

Many states have learned lessons from the Great Recession of 2007-09 and are better prepared for the next economic downturn, according to findings by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and other analysts. “Rainy day...

Rainy-Day Fund Balances Vary Widely Across States | 09-20-2019

Wyoming has the largest estimated fiscal year 2019 rainy-day fund balance as a percentage of total state expenditures, at 109 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers’ Spring 2019 Fiscal Survey of States . California...

Online Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

There was a time when, if you weren’t in Las Vegas and you wanted to put some money down on a football game – say $100 that the Rams would cover the spread on Sunday – you needed to talk to a bookie. So, you picked up your phone. ...

One Third of States Allow Sports Betting | 09-13-2019

At least 18 states allow sports betting either in-person at casinos and other gambling facilities, or online via computer or mobile phone, according to the website BettingUSA.com. Eleven of those states allow both, while six allow only in-person sports...

Governors in Brief - September 16 2019 | 09-13-2019

VA GOV VOWS END TO LAWSUITS AGAINST PATIENTS VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said he would work with University of Virginia James Ryan to end the widespread practice of aggressively pursuing former patients for unpaid medical bills. A recent investigation...

Government Cybersecurity Bills Introduced in Nearly 3/4 of States in 2019 | 09-06-2019

At least 37 states have introduced legislation this year dealing with the cybersecurity of government agencies, 24 of which have enacted such measures, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net...

Will More States Follow CA on Deal with Automakers? | 08-15-2019

Bypassing the Trump administration, California has reached agreement with four of the world’s largest automakers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce automobile emissions that contribute to global warming. And more are likely to follow. ...

More Than a Dozen States Follow CA Deal with Automakers | 08-15-2019

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia will abide by a deal reached in July by California and four major global automakers to require new vehicles to average approximately 37 miles per gallon by 2026. The Trump administration, meanwhile, is seeking...

Governors in Brief - August 19 2019 | 08-15-2019

COOPER SIGNS NC GUN ORDER NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued an executive directive ordering that state Bureau of Investigation and other state agencies to take more action against gun violence. The order directs the BOI to conduct more threat...

Balance Billing Measures Introduced in 32 States in 2019 | 08-09-2019

Legislation dealing with medical balance billing - the charging of patients by healthcare providers for services not fully covered at the providers’ rate by the patients’ insurance - has been introduced in 32 states this year, according to...

Biometric Data Privacy Bills Considered in Over Half of States | 08-02-2019

At least 26 states have introduced bills this session dealing with the collection and use of biometric information, such as fingerprints, speech patterns or gait, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Politics in Brief - July 22 2019 | 07-19-2019

CA TAKES ANOTHER SHOT AT KEEPING TRUMP OFF BALLOT The CALIFORNIA Legislature has passed a bill ( SB 27 ) that would require candidates for president to release five years’ worth of tax returns before their name could appear on the state’s...

New Laws Require Merchants to Take Cash | 07-08-2019

Phrases that might have no meaning to your grandchildren: having a “fat wallet,” offering “a penny for your thoughts,” and the notion of “stacking paper.” The question “can you change a dollar?” one day...

Cities, State Ban Cashless Businesses | 07-08-2019

At least two cities, Philadelphia and San Francisco, and one state, New Jersey ( AB 591 ), have passed legislation requiring businesses to accept cash, according to the online and print business magazine Fast Company and LexisNexis State Net’s local...

Education - July 8 2019 | 07-08-2019

OR Senate Approves HB 155 The OREGON Senate approves HB 155 , which would strengthen the authority of the state’s teacher licensing agency to investigate educators who engage in sexual misconduct. The measure, which passed both chambers unanimously...

Environment - July 8 2019 | 07-08-2019

PA governor Signs SB 712 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs SB 712 , a budget bill that has a provision which bans state and local governments from regulating or banning single-use plastics until the completion of two government studies on the matter...

Most States Considering Drug Price Control Measures | 06-14-2019

At least 40 states have introduced legislation in 2019 aimed at reducing the cost of prescription drugs, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative tracking system. Fifteen of those states have enacted such measures.

Many States Looking at Occupational Licensing Reciprocity | 06-07-2019

At least 28 states have considered legislation this session addressing reciprocity with other states in occupational licensing, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Such measures have been enacted in half of those states...

States Taking Action to Ensure Complete 2020 Census Count | 05-17-2019

Although the decennial census is a federal responsibility, with states having so much to gain from an accurate tally, 30 have established committees - either through legislation or executive order - to ensure their populations are fully counted, according...

State Lawmakers Stepping Up Fight Against Insurance Fraud | 05-10-2019

By some accounts, insurance fraud has reached epidemic proportions, costing insurance companies and their policyholders tens of billions of dollars each year. State lawmakers have taken several measures in recent years to combat the problem, but this...

Soda Taxes Stalled in States | 05-03-2019

In his budget address in late February, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) called for a tax increase on sodas and other sugary drinks. Soda tax legislation has also been introduced this year in California, Massachusetts New York, Rhode Island and Vermont...

Wait, What Kind of Otter? | 05-03-2019

If you’re going to have a state amphibian, it might as well be one with as ridiculous a nickname as possible. I’m presuming that was what Pennsylvania lawmakers were thinking recently when they voted to name the Eastern hellbender salamander...

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...