pa-legis

Top Pa. labor leader expresses disappointment with proposed Wolf minimum wage deal

BY: - November 16, 2019

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

BY: - November 15, 2019

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

BY: - November 8, 2019

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

BY: - October 30, 2019

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?

BY: - September 16, 2019

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? 

BY: - September 6, 2019

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

BY: - August 13, 2019

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

BY: - June 27, 2019

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

BY: - June 19, 2019

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

BY: - June 5, 2019

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

BY: - May 30, 2019

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

BY: - May 20, 2019

The measure's sponsor says payment is a completely separate issue, and the complaints are driven by people who haven't read the bill.