State Rep Wants to Make it Illegal to Taunt Police, Cites Cops’ “Emotions”

police

Photo | Joel Mathis

On Tuesday, way out yonder in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, state lawmakers, police officers, and other officials gathered in the State Capitol for a rally in support of law enforcement personnel, led by Pennsylvania State Senator John Rafferty, who entered a resolution in the State Senate to recognize 2015 as the “Year of the Cop.”

“It used to be when a law enforcement official answered the call for a burglary on an armed robbery, he or she worried about a situation where their life might be threatened,” Rafferty said at the rally. “After 9/11, we’ve seen a dramatic change in the attitude in this country, and in the world. Law enforcement officials are now being targeted because they wear a badge.”

True enough. And sure, why not call 2015 the Year of the Cop? We’re all for it.

But then another Pennsylvania lawmaker decided to say a few words — as first pointed out by the blog Raging Chickens Press — and those words have us scratching our heads a bit.  Read more »

Former Ed Rendell Aide Joins Kathleen Kane’s Office

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Kathleen Kane’s tenure the attorney general has become — let’s not kid ourselves — so disastrous that the arrival of Chuck Ardo as her new spokesman feels a bit like the appearance of Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction: Hey! The grownups are in charge again!

But, you know, it might come back to bite her, too. Read more »

Hite: Schools Can Make No More Cuts

Supt. William Hite spoke to reporters, unveiling "Action Plan 3.0."

Supt. William Hite spoke to reporters last month, unveiling “Action Plan 3.0.”

There’s nothing left to cut.

So says William Hite, superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. He made the assertion Monday during comments at the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg. “What are we going to do now? Put 50 kids in a class?” he asked. “There’s nothing else to cut.” Read more »

Former Agent Sues Kane

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

A former state undercover agent is suing Attorney General Kathleen Kane, saying she distorted his role in the infamous sting operation that caught Philadelphia Democrats accepting money and gifts from a confidential informant, the Inquirer reports.

Claude Thomas pretended to be the driver for Tyron Ali, the informant, and chauffeured Ali to meetings in a confiscated BMW. He takes offense at the reasons Kane offered for canceling the sting operation. Read more »

Should Drivers Be Able to Sue Pa. Over Pothole Damage?

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

After this past winter, many of Pennsylvania’s roads are littered with potholes — and many of Pennsylvania’s cars are suffering for it.

“In my area, the pothole situation is simply out of control,” says Republican state Rep. John Lawrence, who represents parts of Chester and Lancaster counties. “I have personally reported potholes to PennDOT that have gone unrepaired for weeks on end.”

Lawrence is planning to introduce a bill that would allow motorists to sue the state for property damages caused by potholes.

Read more »

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers: Wolf Nominee “Failed Miserably” on Gosnell

Pedro Cortes  | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

Pedro Cortes | official portrait. Tom Wolf | Jason Plotkin AP/York Daily Record

A coalition of anti-abortion lawmakers is opposing Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee for secretary of state, Pedro Cortes, saying Cortes didn’t do enough to stop Kermit Gosnell, the West Philly abortion doctor who was convicted of killing babies born alive.

Forty-nine members of the Pennsylvania Legislature sent Wolf a letter opposing Cortes’ nomination, PennLive reports: Read more »

State GOP Leader Not So Hot on 4 a.m. Bar Closings

Bad news, hard-drinking millennials: It might be a while before you can keep your late-night bar parties going all the way to 4 a.m.: At least one key leader of the Pennsylvania GOP, it turns out, is pretty down on the idea of keeping bars open past the current state-mandated closing time of 2 a.m.

“Yeah, I represent a college town, so I’m not sure I want to keep the bars open an extra two hours, with 15,000 college students,” House majority leader Dave Reed — who represents the district containing Indiana University of Pennsylvania — told KYW. “So, we’ll see.”
Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

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