Top Pa. labor leader expresses disappointment with proposed Wolf minimum wage deal
One of the state’s top labor leaders said Friday that Gov. Tom Wolf was tentatively moving to gradually increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by June 2021. Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO which represents 700,000 union workers, told the Capital-Star that he had reviewed draft language that would increase the wage […]
State budget agency projects billion-dollar plus deficits in early 2020’s — and that’s without a recession
Better get used to budget fights. Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog agency is predicting deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually over the next five years — some topping a billion dollars in the early 2020’s. The Independent Fiscal Office, a state agency tasked with analyzing economic and budgetary data for the General Assembly, predicted […]
Wolf signs bill to let synagogues, mosques and churches apply for $5M in safety grants
In response to last year’s Tree of Life shooting, Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday signed into law a $5 million program that provides grants to beef up security at nonprofits, such as houses of worship or a faith-based community center. The program was originally proposed by Sen. Andrew Dinniman, D-Chester, as part of a larger […]
Bill that allows hunting in Pennsylvania on three Sundays a year is closer to reaching Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk
The bill pitted rural lawmakers, hoping to keep countrysides clear of orange vested hunters for at least one day a week, against the National Rifle Association and pro-hunting groups.
There’s bipartisan agreement Pa.’s absentee voting law is broken. Will the Legislature act?
Faced with a smorgasbord of potential electoral reforms at an informal meeting Monday, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers gravitated toward expanding Pennsylvania’s restrictive and archaic absentee ballot rules. “I hope we can finally finalize a plan to bring no-excuse absentee ballots to Pennsylvania,” Senate State Government Committee Chairman Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, said […]
Pennsylvania’s property tax, explained: A moral wrong, or the building block of government finance?
When he started knocking on doors during his inaugural campaign for state representative in 1992, Sam Rohrer noticed a topic popping up again and again — property taxes. He was aware of complaints, but the extent of the problem became more and more apparent as he talked to his soon-to-be constituents in Berks County. Rohrer, […]
Property tax elimination hearing draws big crowd, but agreement still scarce
YORK, Pa. — To Jim Rodkey, property taxes are serfdom. “I am here today because I believe the property tax to be the most morally irresponsible, regressive, and unfair system of taxation in existence,” Rodkey, the head of the Pennsylvania Property Rights Association, a nonprofit group opposed to property taxes, said Tuesday. “Regardless of the […]
How one bill could fund voting machines, change Pennsylvania’s elections, and tick off Democrats
The measure includes some provisions most politicos agree are a long time coming, but also features some controversial changes that Democrats are comparing to voter suppression.
Cracking the Code: These budget bills are where the deals get made
The bills are a package of budget-enabling legislation that effectively serves as the instruction manual for spending the money in the state’s General Fund budget.
Wolf’s infrastructure plan makes legislative debut with near-majority support
Gov. Tom Wolf’s much-hyped plan to expand broadband internet, fight flooding, and invest in natural gas production, among other infrastructure investments, was released Wednesday — with nearly enough support to pass both chambers. According to a statement released by Wolf’s office, 99 House and 25 Senate lawmakers from both parties support the legislation. According to […]
State legislators want a guaranteed opportunity to defend laws against court challenges
The bill, which passed the House in May on a near-party line vote, would let leadership in the General Assembly grant lawmakers standing in court to defend the constitutionality of laws — a decision usually handled by a judge.
State rep. responds to online outrage over bill that allows underage, uncompensated musicians to play in bars
The measure's sponsor says payment is a completely separate issue, and the complaints are driven by people who haven't read the bill.