Did you know that in Pennsylvania, potatoes must be sold in packages weighing three , five 10 pounds, 15, 20, 25, or 50 pounds—and then multiples of 100 pounds. We didn’t either, but apparently it’s so, and apparently it’s a pain in the ass for Pennsylvania grocery stores. NewsWorks reports the a change to the law is under way.
One paradox of Tom Corbett’s deep, deep unpopularity with Pennsylvania voters is that vulnerability has enticed a great many Democrats into next year’s gubernatorial race—creating a “free for all” that could destroy the party’s chances to capture the seat.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
A hearty round of applause to Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled House and Senate! By granting GOP Governor Tom Corbett his most highly sought prize — the nation’s highest gas and diesel taxes — the legislature has ensured two things:
1) Tommy Boy will lose next year’s election by an even bigger margin, and
2) He is now likely to achieve the impossible: an approval rating in the single digits.
To be fair, the last one’s not all that hard, since he was already in the toilet at a historically low 17 percent approval.
About the only thing more monumental than the rear-ending Corbett just gave his citizens via the second-largest tax increase in state history is his “bi-partisan” legacy, as no one has done more for the Democratic Party.
CBS Philly reports that State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has introduced a resolution of impeachment against Attorney General Kathleen Kane, whom he says shirked her duties by failing to defend the state’s laws banning gay marriage.
Read more »
After a late, late, late-night vote on Tuesday to pass the State House, the state’s big transportation bill passed the Senate easily on Wednesday, 43-7. It’ll go back to the House, which will pass it, and then to Corbett’s desk for a signature. This not only gives Corbett one of the big legislative accomplishments he’s been striving for for three years, but some much-needed cash for roads, bridges, and even little old SEPTA.
The good news? “Gov. Tom Corbett’s hopes for a major legislative win came roaring back to life Tuesday, as the state House voted 104-95 to give key preliminary approval to a multi-pronged, $2.4 billion transportation funding program,” the Patriot-News reports. (We don’t care about Corbett’s hopes, but we do care about transportation funding.)
“But no one was lighting victory cigars Tuesday night. That’s because the House plan contains a key change that has not passed muster in the state Senate yet: a modest, albeit once-in-a-generation reform to Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage statute.The bill raises the cost threshold at which the law’s minimum wage requirements kick in for transportation construction projects from an outdated $25,000 at present, to $100,000 going forward.” The question is: Is that union-busting enough or too union-busting for the Senate to accept? We’ll find out soon.
CBS Philly reports: “‘SEPTA general manager Joe Casey today said he’s disappointed the transportation bill failed last night (see related story), and he says without that money you’ll see a slow dismantling of the SEPTA system: ‘It’s not immediately, but it’s a gradual reduction of service and dismantling the rail system as we know it — regional rails, trolley lines — it’s all the critical infrastructure, and that’s what we need the money for.’”
AP: “State lawmakers are sending Governor Corbett a bill that could introduce gambling contests called small games of chance into thousands of bars and bring millions into the state treasury. … The measure would represent Pennsylvania’s largest expansion of gambling since 2010, when table games were legalized in slot-machine casinos.” The House has already passed a similar bill.
Last night, the state House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing some forms of gambling in bars. The Senate already passed an earlier version of the bill, so this one should be heading to the Governor’s desk soon.
The bill would legalize raffles, drawings, and pull-tab games in bars and taverns. Such games are now allowed only in private clubs – like veterans posts, Moose lodges, and fire halls.
NewsWorks writes that Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic hopeful for governor, is out trying to raise support for a statewide comprehesive transportation bill in Harrisburg. “Republicans have opposed the roughly $2 billion plan and its anticipated effect on motorists through potentially higher gas prices and increased license and registration fees,” the site reports. “Republican leaders have insisted it can only pass among their members if it includes changes to the state’s prevailing wage law to bring down union pay on smaller public works projects.”